Colonel Biizwayo Nkunika, High Commissioner for Zambia, will be visiting Swindon to meet representives from Swindon Town Community Trust and community groups in the town interested in further developing contact with his country before watching the Robins take on Yeovil Town.
Andrew Deuchar, a trustee of Swindon Town Football in the Community, and former director of BUILD, a charity encouraging international community links, said the club has had a connection with the country since 2005 when the community managers Clive Maguire and Jon Holloway learnt of the struggle by a Zambian team to attend a tournament in Sweden.
Since then coaches have travelled to Livingstone on three occasions and built up a great rapport with community leaders and young people across the city.
Now the trust wants to extend this relationship and is calling on schools, community groups, businesses and other sport clubs to make the connection between Swindln and the city of Livingstone, Zambia, close to the world famous Victoria Falls.
In September over 60 MPs, sports administrators and representatives from charities heard about the overseas development initiatives taken by Swindon and trusts associated with four other league clubs, and the Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson MP, strongly encouraged others to build on their initiative.
Andrew, from Wootton Bassett, is keen to hear of groups in Swindon interested in building on the work started through the football club. “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.
“There is huge potential to make a real difference to communities at so many levels both in the developing world and here where clubs are already doing such excellent work through their community foundations.
“The footballers in Livingstone were surprised when Jon and Clive Maguire from Swindon returned there last November. They’re used to coaches arriving for a week or two to run training sessions, but were impressed that they came back to build a long term relationship.
“Livingstone is famous in Africa for its tourism, but also for its railway history, having been the headquarters of Rhodesian Railways, so there is a strong historical connection with Swindon and our idea is to strengthen the link by fostering relationships in sport, education, cultural activity and community development.”
If your school, group or sports club would like to know more, contact Andrew on 01793 854684 or email@example.com