Pride eyes: Zambia
At the end of July, the Pride entered Zambia, arriving first in vibrant, adrenaline-filled Livingstone.
Staying at Jollyboys hostel, where we were joined by our new Pride member Ella. This week was a transit week which gave us time to unwind and explore the exciting activities and local markets that Livingstone has to offer. As we were situated close to Victoria Falls, the group was able to enjoy bungee jumping, zip-lining and white-water rafting on the Zambezi River.
The week continued with a soaking scenic stroll by the majestic Victoria Falls, which then concluded with a fancy High Tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel as the sun went down, and accompanied by zebras on the lawn! After having these few days relaxing, we waved goodbye to Pride members Finlay, Ryan and Max and set off to Zambia’s capital, Lusaka.
Once we arrived, we welcomed two more Pride members; James and the ‘fastest man in Malawi’, Hexter. We spent the next two days at Wanderers hostel, gelling with our new group through a team cinema visit. However, Kabwe was calling and we set off ready for two full weeks of coaching.
We kicked off our two-week stay with coach education at the Green Eagles Rugby Club. The workshop was divided into four days, covering subjects such as refereeing, game safety, skill identification and development. We completed the course with an assessment day, where the coaches received a feedback form consisting of positives and work-ons and the competency level they had achieved over the past week.
“On the first week I learnt a range of things, especially how to interact with the young players as well as improve my refereeing by game coaching with constant encouragement and reinforcement.
Without last week, I wouldn’t have had the same confidence I had when coaching this week. I can’t wait to apply the things I’ve learnt in the future.”
Steven Lwando, buddy coach
The weekend provided time to explore the local markets of Kabwe and the huge fig tree situated in the heart of the town, as seen on some of the Zambian Kwacha notes. With the assistance of the buddy coaches we educated the previous week, we prepared to coach in five local primary schools and rugby academies. BPF had coached these children a few months prior so we were intrigued to see what they remembered. Each of these schools posed their own individual challenges; however, along with our buddy coaches, we overcame these, and the week culminated in a very enjoyable tournament day at the Green Eagles Rugby Club.
“I enjoyed playing rugby this week. I learnt how to pass properly with my teammates and the rules of rugby. I learnt the PRIDE values and the way I can apply them when I am a player and within daily life.
When I get older, I want to play for the Green Eagles and become a coach.”
Cryvet Makwalu, 14
Throughout these two weeks we also coached the men’s and women’s Green Eagles rugby sides, where we placed a strong emphasis on improving their 7s game.
Tom Chaloba, the coordinator of the Die Hard Rugby academy, summarised our time in Kabwe:
“It has been an incredible experience to have Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s coaches back in Kabwe.
The coach education week was an eye-opening experience and I can’t wait to see our coaches replicate what they learnt when they coach in the schools and communities going forward.
You can really see the effect Bhubesi Pride Foundation has on tournament day and the participation from both the coaches and the kids is exceptional.”
Tom Chaloba, Die Hard Rugby
Bridge Camp & South Lilongwe
After an amazing two weeks in Kabwe, we made our way back to Lusaka to wave farewell to Pride member George who has been with the team since South Africa.
“Kabwe has been my favourite place in Africa during my time out here. The support we received from the Green Eagles and the community has been incredible.
As Tournament Director, I was able to successfully host the Kabwe tournament which consisted of 250 children. It was great to see the buddy coaches that we educated in week one implement what they learned through the week’s sessions and on tournament day.”
George Cave, Pride member
The team then embarked on another transit week to bring us ever closer to the Malawian border. This involved one night at the remote Bridge Camp in the Luangwa Valley. From Bridge Camp we took on our longest drive so far (10 hours) to Wildlife Camp in the South Luangwa National Park.
Here the team had the opportunity to relax and enjoy the local wildlife whilst being occasionally approached by cheeky baboons. On our second day we were lucky enough to take part in a morning game drive through the park. We saw a lot of the African wildlife, such as lions, zebras, buffalo, hyenas and crocodiles. Some members of the Pride chose to have a second round of the game drive that evening where they even saw a leopard stalking its prey!
“It was breathtaking to see nature and wildlife like this, in this environment, as we witnessed a hyena and vultures making a meal out of an elephant carcass.”
Ben McStay, Pride member
Overall, Zambia has been fantastic. Zambian people are so kind and welcoming and the landscape and sights I have seen have been unforgettable.