Zambia IDEALS Project Four-Week Overview

16 July 2013

International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) is a UK Sport programme, delivered in partnership with University of Bath.

Zambia Ideals LogoThe first group have had a challenging time which they have embraced superbly well with patience but also drive to take the initiative. All the placements have had issues which needed ironing out, some greater than others but that has been outlined in the individual break down of sites.

It’s unquestionable that the students have learnt a huge amount in their time here but the focus in the house has been ensuring the students use their free time wisely to have written out session plans. These are to be left with the peer leaders to ensure the two-way exchange of learning is happening.

Livingstone was a very well earned break, allowing students to undertake various relaxing and less relaxing activities. The team are finalising plans for their Wallace Tournament this Saturday which has a safari theme.

Fountain of Hope

Zambia IDEALS Project 2012 - Fountain of HopeThe Fountain site is very individual, being a site for street children rehabilitation as well as a school.

The students found their mornings to be quite quiet for the early stages of their placements. This is because all P.E. lessons occur on a Friday at the site. This said, sport specific sessions start earlier than the other sites with the netball team and the u10 footballers starting at midday.

The students brought this to the attention of the team leaders who in turn spoke to the S.I.A. staff and it has been resolved with the opportunity of attending the University Teaching Hospital special school two mornings a week to partake in fun and movement classes.

On a Monday the students have been participating in a street kids forum with the resident boys where they can share a variety of life experiences.

On a Wednesday Fountain has a mother and baby clinic at which the students have been very welcome to help with when there are jobs to do. They have also been involved in teaching curriculum science classes.

As the sport specific sessions continue into the afternoon the students move across to the Lotus playing field to coach the u12 and u14 football teams as well as the girls’ team. These teams have been training hard from day one. Isaac plays a pivotal role at Fountain providing excellent support to the students in their coaching sessions.


Chipata has been a tough placement but hugely rewarding for the students who have taken the initiative in creating a timetable that enables them to utilise as many hours of the day as possible.

Early on, the Journey to placement was so hampered by traffic that even leaving the house at 7.30am was not enough to get to site in time for a 9am P.E. lesson.

In light of this the students created classroom forum sessions that started at 10am. P.E. lessons continued at 11am through to midday and the students have used lunchtime to spend time reading with the children to develop their English.

Peer leaders started off very supportive but as the weeks have passed they have left a lot of the initiative to be taken by the students. This has both pros and cons but the students have found ways and means of delivering complete sessions independently.

Sports specific sessions with the teams have been very well attended barring netball. The girls were not present in the early stages and some further investigation found the majority of the girls to be attending school until 5pm, by which time the students had left.

Zambia IDEALS ProjectFor this reason all the work has been done with the football teams, u12 and u15 predominantly. A girls football team has been started up with great interest also.

While the students have not been working with the basketball or volleyball teams, these teams train on a daily basis with high skill levels.


Ngombe may pose the most problems regarding climate! A very open compound site gives very little opportunity for the students to retire from the heat at any stage.

This said, site co-ordinator Susan’s house is often a sanctuary of shade at lunch time where Susan’s mum will always be willing to treat you to local cuisine. Arcades is also only a short bus journey away which can offer less extravagant meals.

Zambia IDEALS ProjectMorning P.E. lessons are three days a week giving the students time to plan their sessions from home two mornings a week. This said, on working mornings Ngombe students are the first to leave the house for lengthy bus journeys.

The P.E. lessons are in local schools around the compound which means a short walk to each site to lead the fun and movement games. This gives a great feel for the community in what is a hugely welcoming environment.

The students return to the community field for sport specific training in the afternoon. Football has u12 and u14 teams which are attended in abundance. A lack of a distinctive football peer leader means that communication to the teams can be a struggle but hugely rewarding when drills are run successfully across the language barrier.

The netball court has basketball hoops and a very unsavoury surface which the players appear to not notice at all. The team is strong and have been pushed in terms of tactical as well as technical play.


Kalingalinga required extreme patience from the students in the early days which was highly admirable as they waited on several issues to be resolved before every day fired from start to finish.

The P.E. lessons in the morning were there from the start but slow communication from peer leaders meant day time was not used as well as it could be.

The student communication with peer leaders to increase the number of P.E. lessons was rewarded with an additional school which filled spare time in the morning, however finding the classes without the assistance of peer leaders is not always straight forward.

The students have found that if all else fails there are always children at the community field who are willing to participate in fun and games.

The sport specific coaching in the afternoon were very poorly attended for the first 7-10 days which was hugely frustrating for students, peer leaders and office staff alike. However, a remarkable turnaround saw netball numbers triple and volleyball players double.

Both the netball court and volleyball court were in disrepair early on, one netball post being out of the ground and not a volleyball net in sight. However, both problems were resolved and allowed training sessions to be developed a lot easier.

No work has been done with Kalingalinga’s football teams but they are on the site each evening and ready for the opportunity of Muzungu coaches.Jordan Kenny, Mamma Stillas in Zambia


The media role provides great opportunity for free reign of Lusaka and all the sites. This means the student can meet all the peer leaders and witness the variety of what each site offers.

Sometimes this has left the student feeling a sense of not belonging quite anywhere but the student has been sure to return to sites regularly to build friendships and working relationships. Both offices have given direction to the work of the student during his time here.

Radio coverage is very accessible to spread the word of the project and contact details have been exchanged for future airings. A Lusaka based TV company will be in attendance for the Wallace tournament and there is still a chance a local newspaper will play host to the media student for a day before they leave the city.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news on the Team Bath Zambia IDEALS Project web page.

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