Kabwe children unite to roll out an equal playing field on tournament day
Johanna Waide, Kabwe
Children from the six different schools and community centres, who took part in Kabwe’s coaching week, began and finished tournament day in unison, singing the Zambian national anthem together.
A customary practice for the local crowd, watching the performances provided a timely reminder for Pride members that Zambia marks the sixth country for RiA 2017. The milestone was especially significant for Ali, Damiano, Harry, Kate and Richard (French), as Kabwe was their final tournament day on their journey with the Pride.
The event’s guest of honour – the Mayor of Kabwe – commended the children on their efforts to embrace rugby, before officially declaring tournament day open. He also talked about the many benefits of being involved in sport and encouraged everyone to continue to stay active, as well as broadly embrace the values that can be learned from working as a team on the pitch.
Tournament Directors Kate and Lewis managed a seamless day, involving local buddy coaches to help referee and coordinate both an U12s and U16s draw, ensuring teams were matched and enjoyed their games.
Providing equal opportunities for local children was also a key goal for Pauline Chilumba, Corporate Affairs Officer, G4S Zambia, which she saw realised on tournament day. Pauline shared:
“An important part of the Bhubesi Pride Foundation project we’re able to deliver is bringing together children from all different backgrounds, to share the same experience – to train and play rugby.
On tournament day, all of the children are one. We send them out on the pitch in the same t-shirts, eating the same lunch together, having learnt the same values. The values that G4S and Bhubesi Pride Foundation are able to put across – especially respect and integrity – help the children to know they are not different from anyone else, which I hope makes a lasting impact.”
Kabwe coaching week in numbers
- Number of participating schools/communities: 6 (Die Hard Rugby Academy, Rosehill Primary, Sables Nua Orphanage, Mildah Academy, Mine Secondary School, Children of Promise Orphanage)
- Number of children coached: 270
- Boys / girls: 65 / 35
- Percentage of children participating in 3 or more sessions: 87%
- Number of participating local coaches: 15
- Number of participating local coaches awarded a BPF buddy coach certificate: 10
Personal Pride moments | Iain, Sofia and Jo
At the end of the day, Pride members Iain and Sofia introduced some of the children they’d coached at Sables Nua – who’d shown outstanding skill and enthusiasm – to local club, Die Hard. The meeting meant the children now have an opportunity to play rugby all year round, and exemplifies how BPF can help to build the sport at grassroots level in the communities visited each year.
Pride member Jo was also involved in an exciting development that will see more children in Kabwe continue to play rugby. Jo shared:
“Our buddy coach for the week at Mine Primary, Francis, is now going to train weekly at the school. Francis plays with the Green Eagles Rugby Club and, during our coaching week, he had the chance to meet the Deputy Head Teacher at Mine Primary, who wants to support the program on an ongoing basis.
Francis was eager to learn more about coaching and I think he’s come away from working with the Pride ready to lead his own sessions. It’s a great opportunity for Francis as well as Mine Primary.”