Faces of the Pride: Bridgette Sinthampi
- Name: Bridgette Sinthampi
- Role: National Account Manager, G4S Secure Solutions Malawi; G4S Country Program Leader for Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s Malawi expedition leg
- Based: Lilongwe, Malawi
For Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s Malawi Program, Bridgette and the team at G4S Malawi have worked hard to forge partnerships with schools and communities in the rural district, located outside of their base in the country’s capital, Lilongwe.
For Bridgette, bringing the program to these remote areas – where infrastructure is minimal – means it’s able to make a significant impact. Bridgette shared:
“The interaction with the children in the rural villages is what drives the work G4S Malawi does with Bhubesi Pride Foundation. Coaching with these children makes them feel valued and, as their skills develop, their confidence increases.
The opportunity to play rugby also helps foster educational opportunities for the children. They are selected to take part in the project based on their efforts in the classroom. This motivates the children to work hard throughout the year. They also get the chance to learn important values and life-skills from the Pride coaches and from G4S Malawi employees.”
A favourite moment for Bridgette happens at the end of Tournament Day when every participating school receives rugby kit. She feels this represents the program’s legacy, as access to these resources enables the children to continue to train and play rugby.
Bridgette also credits the broad roles of the Pride volunteers throughout coaching week as key to ensuring a lasting impact:
“The Pride coaches are individuals from difference backgrounds – culturally and professionally – however the way they work as a team is outstanding.
Together, they show humility and adaptability towards a new culture and engage with as many local people as possible while they are here in Malawi. This includes hundreds of children, as will as head teachers and other village leaders. The result is that shared skills and experiences remain with the local communities.”
Bridgette and her team recognise that empowering local rugby clubs through providing development opportunities will support the growth of rugby as a sport in Malawi. As such, a highlight for Bridgette from the 2017 BPF program was the collaboration with representatives from five different clubs:
“By working closely with local coaches from multiple rugby clubs, we are able to pass on key values to the wider community. The coaches demonstrate these values in they way they interact with the G4S Malawi and Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s team during coaching week, and so I believe they take them back and put them into practice at their respective clubs.”
A Pride value Bridgette has taken in her stride since being involved in the program is ‘Enjoyment’. She believes participating in sports at any level has resounding benefits, including the opportunity for G4S Malawi employees to help organise BPF program logistics and attend tournament day.
“Although one of the aims of playing rugby is to win the game, taking enjoyment from the experience can help shape positive attitudes off the pitch. The more people we have playing rugby in Malawi, the more we can get behind the game as a country and share the experience together.”