Swindon Town Football in the Community have just returned from a trip to Zambia in Africa where they spent a week in Livingstone delivering football coaching programmes plus participation in building projects for the local community.
On arrival in Lusaka, Jon Holloway, Clive Maguire, Luke Sharps and Tim Hall made their way to the Alive & Kicking Football factory for a short visit before embarking on a flight to Livingstone.
The first task undertaken by the community team was to help coach and prepare the local under 17’s Academy team Nirmala FC for their game against the Livingston Police FC. The Academy won the game 5-1 with no prisoners taken on either side.
The next day saw the community team visit a local community school Nakatindi where the team were greeted by many excited children who were actually seeing footballs for the first time. The team returned later on in the week to the school to help with their building project. They spent the afternoon making bricks by hand for use on the extension to the current building facility at the school. Thursday afternoon was also spent in a local community schools, this time community school, Mbwami painting the newly built facility.
During the week the Community Team were also very fortunate to lay on coaching workshops for fellow coaches from the Zambia Coaches Association. This was a two day event where the team laid on sessions and passed on their ideas to help further coach education in Livingstone.
An additional outcome from the two day coaching session was the signing off of a partnership agreement between Swindon Town Football Club and the Zambian Coaches Association to help build on the foundations laid by the Community Team during the week.
During the week the community team again attended the Mwandi School where they coached over 100 children in 20 minute periods. Two of the team took time out to present football boots and a STFC FITC Footballs to each coach that took part in the coaching workshop. They were also presented with Coaching Literature such as session planners and packs.
The week finished with the first ever football tournament taking part in the town of Livingstone. This was an Under 17 event with 16 teams taking part. The tournament was a fantastic success with over 280 players participating in the STFC FITC event. The winning team and runners up received special FITC medals and each team received a box of donated kit which consisted of 20 pairs of football boots and a team kit. A big thank you to Schenker UK who kindly organised the transport and logistics of the kit from the UK and a personal thank you to Mick Looker for all of his hard work
Over the week the Football in the Community Team worked with nearly 600 local children and adults with many of them now playing in football boots and team strips. A big thank you also must go to the North Wilts and Minor Football League for their help in collecting donations from the local youth and adult clubs in Wiltshire.
Community Manager, Clive Maguire said,” The whole experience was absolutely fantastic with us coaching children and coaches which will hopefully make a difference for the future. One of the highlights of the week was handing out the kits and boots to the children who had never experienced anything like this before. Our sincere thanks goes out to everyone who has donated throughout the year.”
All of the above was achievable with the help of African Impact who have over 5 years of experience facilitating quality volunteer programmes in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Plans for the future include further visits to Zambia where over the next 12 months Swindon Town Football in the Community hope to see the donations of more football boots and kit, plus coaching equipment to go with the 500 sets of boots/footballs and coaching kit already there.
With this extra equipment FITC are sure that there will be a big improvement on the current talent and lifestyle improvement for children of Zambia.
Jon Holloway, joint manager of the FITC scheme said,”Swindon Town Football in the Community’s African adventure is an annual event. If you would like to get involved in any capacity please contact the office on 01793 421303".