The innovative work developed by the Swindon Town Football in the Community Team in Zambia over the past six years will be presented to a major conference in Parliament, alongside similar work by the Charlton Athletic Community Team and Brighton and Hove Albion, and developing plans at Notts County.
Jon Holloway, Trust Manager at Swindon will speak to an audience of politicians, including the Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson MP, sports administrators, other club representatives and NGOs involved in Sport and Development on Tuesday 11 September, under the joint chairmanship of local Devizes MP, Claire Perry, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group ‘Connecting Communities’ and Joan Walley MP, who is an officer of the APPG for Football.
The aim of the conference is to gain the support of the distinguished audience for a project to develop, encourage and resource Premiership and Football League Clubs to set up international links and partnerships, and by these links to build and enable the communities at both ends of the links to see tangible benefit from the links.
Andrew Deuchar, currently Director of BUILD, based just outside Marlborough, who has led the initiative, said: “Anyone who has travelled through Africa, Asia and the Caribbean will know the amazing popularity of British football. Even in the most isolated villages you will find children wearing the strips of famous English clubs. This project aims to use this popularity in order to make a real difference to communities both in the Developing World, and in the local communities in which all clubs are already doing such excellent work through their Community Foundations.”
A number of clubs have expressed interest in International Community Partnerships of this sort, whilst others have supported organisations such as Coaching for Hope and TackleAfrica. Contributors to the conference, as well as representatives of the three clubs and the Minister, will include Jane Carter, CEO of Coaching for Hope, a representative of the PFA.