THE Swindon Town Football in the Community team returned from their trip to Zambia on Tuesday morning.
Below is the tour diary written whilst the team were overseas.
Two days into their Zambian Coaching visit and the STFiTC team of coaches are spreading the name of Swindon Town across the country. After arriving into Johannasburg on Saturday morning. A short internal flight saw the STFITC Team being greeted at Livingstone by the Coaches Assocation of Livingstone – Zambia. The busy schedule kick started Sunday morning where the team have begun to expand the ever growing Girls Development Programme, Coaches Education Programme and local Team Coaching Sessions. This year we are continuing to enhance the programme by introducing a referee’s course, which is led by Tony Williams. These referees will look to use their new-found skills in the scheduled tournaments planned for this Friday and Saturday.
The STFiTC team will continue to spread the good word of STFC working with local Primary Schools, distributing kit and equipment, solar lighting and the introduction of a life-changing disability programme.
STFITC have now completed their third full day of the 10 day coaching programme. We started by visiting David Livingstone High School, which local schools in Swindon (Crowdys Hill and Grange Infants School) have links with. The STFITC Team were honoured by planting three trees in the schools’ grounds to consolidate the partnership.
Another exciting aspect of the day was the STFITC team’s first experience of disability coaching. It was a truly spectacular session which demonstrated how important and influential football can be in people’s lives. Clive Maguire, STFC Football in the Community Manager commented: “I have been thoroughly looking forward to expanding our programme overseas in particular by concentrating on the ever-growing disability programme. This is a particular passion of mine and today has proven to be an overwhelming success. I will look forward to continuing this throughout the rest of the week.”
The STFITC team continued with the Coaches Education programme, Girls Development and local team coaching in the evening. We are looking forward to expanding the programme tomorrow by installing solar panel lights into a local primary school. These have been kindly donated by the local charity ‘Lights For Learning’.
The team have been extremely busy continuing the ever-growing programme by coaching in a disabled school, continuing to educate the coaches, expanding on the ‘young persons’ refereeing course and encouraging all girls to enjoy and partake in football coaching and small-sided games. In particular, the girls’ development programme was a great success today with over 30 girls arriving to continue enhancing their footballing experience.
Shane Hewlett, who has taken a lead on educating the coaches along with Luke Sharps said: “It has been a fantastic start. The coaches are really improving and are beginning to understand and implement good coaching practices, techniques and progressions which we use on a day-to-day basis. They have a fantastic attitude and drive towards the beautiful game. Football is so important in this country. I am particularly pleased that the coaches will continue to progress and enhance their delivery to the teams when we leave.”
Jon Holloway, Beth Thompson, Becca Ash and Jack Goodenough started the challenging task of installing solar lights in the local Zambian school of ‘Linda South’. We will continue to prepare the classrooms for the grand revealing on Thursday 30th May. ‘Lights for Learning’, a local Swindon-based charity, has been instrumental in delivering a course on how to install the equipment and lighting, accompanied by donating the equipment free of charge to influence and improve the lives of many children schooling in Zambia. A huge thank you to ‘Lights for Learning’ from all at STFITC and the Coaches Association of Zambia.
The team have had another busy day expanding the Swindon / Livingstone partnership. Jon Holloway, Clive Maguire, Beth Thompson, Becca Ash and Jack Goodenough especially had an early start to position the solar panel on the roof of the school of ‘Linda West’ before the hot African sun rose, and to also coach football to the students of the school. Progress has definitely been made and we are looking forward to the grand switching on ceremony of the solar lights on Thursday 30th May.
Luke Sharps and Shane Hewlett continued with educating the coaches with practical sessions from the FA Level 3 relevant to improving childrens’ football in Zambia. Tony Willliams also continued with his referee tutoring and has been especially impressed with the reaction of all young referees attending the course from their natural talent to their enthusiasm of completing the job at hand. He commented: “Their enthusiasm and knowledge will surely make them into good referees. It was really encouraging to see the boys and girls clearly signalling and communicating between each other as referees and assistants. The referee’s job is always difficult but they understood the need to be clear and authoritative managers of the game. It has been my pleasure to be associated with such an enthusiastic and motivated group.”
The team are set to sort out all of the generous donations this evening in preparation for the forthcoming tournaments on Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June.
The STFITC team of coaches and volunteers enjoyed a day full of community work today. We visited the nearby town of Nakitindi helping to build and develop the new medical centre. This involved brick making, painting and general help to the community. We enjoyed a tour around the village of Nakitindi from the community sports coach Charles.
Thursday 30th May also entailed the finishing touches to the solar panel lighting set up in the local school of Linda South. The grand unveiling was a superb success which in the long run will make such a monumental difference to the children currently attending the school, their children and grandchildren. Local village adults will also reap the benefits by now being able to attend evening classes and be educated under the new solar lighting system. This in particular has been one of the highlights of the trip and STFC Development Manager Jon Holloway said: “I have been at STFC for twenty years and have been very fortunate to have many amazing experiences but this will certainly rank as one of the best. Being able to light up a school for the first time in a small rural village in Zambia was a particularly special moment.
“Beth Thompon, our two NEET’s (Becca Ash & Jack Goodenough) and myself were trained by ‘Lights for Learning’ and spent nearly three days cabelling, wiring, drilling and connecting the lights and circuits to three classrooms and the headmaster’s office. The solar panel lighting is extremely sustainable and it has been our pleasure to install on behalf of the Swindon / Livinstone partnership. A big thank you to ‘Lights for learning’ for donating and educating our team on how to install the fantastic solar panel lighting.”
The team have spent a vast amount of their day organising and sorting out the 64 boxes of generous donations ready for the tournaments taking place on Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June.
DAY SEVEN AND EIGHT
The coaching programme in Zambia culminated with four monumental tournaments for boys and girls. Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June saw 16 teams of Under 18s Boys, seven teams of under 18s Girls, nine teams of Under 16 Girls and 15 teams of Under 16 Boys taking part in the third STFiTC Festival of Football. The 47 teams all received a box of donations consisting of a full playing kit, t-shirts, junior and adult football boots and trainers. STFITC would like to sincerely thank the Big Yellow Self Storage centre for storing all of the generous donations and to DHL for transporting the 64 full boxes of donations.
The boys and girls took part in seven-a-side competition with matches consisting of 10 minutes each way. The winners of the group stages within the boys categories and the best runner-up progressed through to the Quarter Final stage. The girl’s tournament provided as much excitement off the pitch as on the pitch with girls dancing and singing for their teams whilst the boy’s games saw great celebrations every time the ball hit the back of the net. The Girls tournament consisted of two groups with the top two teams progressing onto the semi final stage. The overall winners of the Tournaments were:
- Under 16 Girls – Ajax
- Under 18 Girls – Randers
- Under 16 Boys – Ajax
- Under 18 Boys - Kalumpa
Swindon Town FITC have definitely expanded and progressed the partnership of Swindon /Livingstone by continuing to educate the coaches, girls development, team coaching, school coaching and more importantly with the introduction of disability football, referee tutoring and the installation of solar lights. We are delighted with the huge success and objectives that we have achieved over the past five years in Africa which has helped to improve the standard of coaching and football in the regions of Livingstone.
STFiTC would like to thank all the individuals and teams that have donated kit, footballs and support fundraising activities and much more to the 2013 appeal and it is truly appreciated by the STFiTC team and communities of Livingstone.