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Club News

A Zambian adventure

Community Foundation heads to Africa to deliver coaching sessions and seminars…

8 December 2022

Club News

A Zambian adventure

Community Foundation heads to Africa to deliver coaching sessions and seminars…

8 December 2022

A team of dedicated Community Foundation staff have made the 5,076 mile journey to Livingstone in Zambia to continue their work in the African country and strengthen the relationship they’ve had in the area for the past thirteen years.

Their last visit to the city was back in 2019, with subsequent trips cancelled due to the COVID outbreak, but with the pandemic affecting everyone around the world, the one positive it’s had is the extra couple of years it’s given us to collect donations.

We’ve sent over more than 1.25 tonnes of kit and equipment, including over 60 full match kits, 60 tracksuits for coaches, 1,500 football shirts and over a thousand pairs of boots.

During their time in the country, our team delivered a coaching education programme consisting of seminars and on the pitch practical activities to more than 35 local youth coaches, helping them develop their skills to enhance their grass-roots teams.

They also oversaw two youth tournaments – for both girls and boys – and presented each player from the winning team with this seasons Swindon Town away shirt, kindly donated by First City Care Group.

It’s always been a tradition that donated kit is distributed during these tournaments, but frustratingly, the 48 boxes were initially detained at customs in the capital, Lusaka, more than six hours away.

But by a miracle of good timing, they arrived on our last day, so they were delighted to hand these out to coaches to be presented to the outright competition winners.

It was then on to visit the David Livingstone School’s Special Educational Needs Unit, who have had a partnership with Crowdy’s Hill School in Swindon for a number of years.

While at the school, Jon Holloway and Shane Hewlett led a short, classroom-based geography lesson focused around the teams competing in the World Cup, before taking a PE lesson on the school field, playing different football based games.

They were also able to return to the school on their last day to drop off a box of donated kit and a brand new iPad!

The group also found time to make it into the compounds of Livingstone, which is where the majority of grass-roots coaches hold their own sessions, often on pitches that are strangely shaped and covered in sand with rusted goalposts (if they’re lucky).

Zambia Photos 1.jpg

Our colleagues were able to watch the coaches as they ran their own sessions, chat to players and understand the environment they live and play in.

Several of these teams only have one ball, and if this gets punctured it’s incredibly difficult to replace, and the vast majority of young players play in bare feet, but despite this, they show a passion and enthusiasm that would serve as an inspiration to a lot of footballers here in the UK.

There are some very obvious differences between life here and in Zambia, but it’s the similarities that warrant focusing on.

Their love of the beautiful game permeates every part of daily life. There’s a passion for playing sport, along with the sense of community and kinship it brings.

Zambia Photos 4.jpg

Jon, who is Head of the Foundation, said: “Everyone at the Foundation feels extremely privileged that the kind donations from our local community, and the money raised from our summer six-a-side festivals enables us to continue supporting people in south-east Africa, providing them with opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

“So, to everyone that has supported our Zambia project this year, and in the past, we would like to give our heartfelt thanks, and we look forward to continuing this relationship, giving what we can to this passionate, positive, and inspiring corner of the world.”

For more information on the Foundation’s Zambia project, feel free to email the Foundation via or call them on 01793 421303.

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