A number of important UK sport figures including England Manager Gareth Southgate have joined together with organisations and Wallace Group Universities to raise money for the construction of sport facilities in Zambia.
Others are Olympians Adam Peaty and Mel Marshall and participated in a netball shootout last week to kick off the #Zambia5050 campaign, which seeks to raise £50,000 for 50 hours of sport over five days.
English Netball CEO Joanna Adams and British Triathlon CEO Jack Buckner also participated in the shootout.
Marshall is a supporter of the Perfect Day Foundation, the charity that is supporting the initiative, and will lead the group that will travel to Zambia in August in hopes of raising the funds.
“On my previous visits to Zambia I have seen how valuable sport can be in enhancing the quality of life of young people who have next to nothing,” Marshall said.
“I promised myself I would return every Olympic cycle and try to raise money to give them a chance to enjoy sport and learn valuable life skills. Every donation makes such a big difference to the lives of these young people.”
Alongside Marshall, Peaty and other athletes will participate in ten hours of sport per day for five days at five different locations in Lusaka and its surrounding communities, where poverty, HIV, domestic and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy and homelessness are rampant.
”Loughborough University has given me opportunities I never dreamed were possible growing up in Uganda,” netballer Peace Proscovia told Loughborough University.
“I am just so lucky and I want to help other African girls to get the same life changing chances that I have enjoyed. There is so much talent waiting to be discovered and this initiative will bring hope to many young Zambian girls.”
This marks the 12th year of the Wallace Group Universities’ “Volunteer Zambia” project, which sends dozens of students representing the universities to coach, to build new sport facilities and to work on sports development capacity building programs across the African nation.
The Wallace Group is composed of Bath, Cardiff Met, Durham, Loughborough, Northumbria, St. Andrews and Stirling.
“We take for granted opportunities to play sport and the facilities we have in this country,” Southgate said. “Even facilities that we wouldn’t deem as good in the UK would be outstanding in countries like Zambia, so it’s important we do something about that.”
Netball, basketball, football, triathlon and volleyball were selected as the five sports that will be used to raise awareness for the campaign.