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17 January 2011 | PR 11/05

Loughborough students deliver a sporting legacy for Zambia through IDEALS project

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Students from Loughborough University have met with the Zambian High Commissioner, Professor Royson Mukwena, to talk about the groundbreaking IDEALS project - a UK Sport programme - which is delivering sporting opportunities in his country.

Students Olivia Howard, Ella Hewton, Danielle Martin and Natalie Ekweogwu, along with Richard Smith and Nick Wilkinson from the University’s Sport Development Centre, travelled to London where they received a warm welcome from the Zambian High Commission.

The students, who will travel to Zambia in the summer, presented to the High Commissioner and demonstrated how the IDEALS project, which provides grass roots sport for local communities, is making a difference.

Loughborough University has sent a party of 25 students to the Zambian capital city Lusaka for the last five years. The students visit for six week periods in the summer, volunteering to coach and run sessions in sports such football, volleyball, basketball and netball.

The volunteers also work with sports leaders in the local community, building on the work developed by previous visits by students, but also to support the Zambians to sustain their provision for sport.

Not only do the students deliver sport, but the sessions also act as a vehicle to present workshops on HIV & Aids awareness for local people.

For the trip to take place, the group of students visiting have to raise £10,000 between them in order to be able to attend.

Olivia Howard, who is studying English and Sport Science and will be the media leader for the group travelling to Zambia later in the year, said:

“I put myself forward for the project as I felt I had the knowledge and experience to really make a difference in Zambia. I have a great passion for sport and the benefits it can bring. I have competed at national level in gymnastics and have been involved in coaching for the over seven years.

“Throughout the year we will be raising money through auctions, raffles and bucket collections. I also plan to set my own personal challenges culminating in a big event, such as running a marathon.”

The Zambia High Commissioner, Professor Royson Mukwena, was full of admiration for the students. Speaking of the project he said:

"The Zambia High Commission supports the IDEALS initiative. We believe the coaching clinics will help improve sport not only in schools but also in the communities. This is a welcome initiative that the Zambian Commission in London will continue to work closely with."

Director of Sport at Loughborough University Chris Earle said:

“The IDEALS project has provided a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop their coaching skills and give them a unique life experience. Not only is their involvement providing a tangible legacy for sport in Zambia, it is also increasing awareness of HIV and Aids.”

The International Development Through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) is a UK Sport programme set up in 2006. The programme aims to establish high-quality sports leadership development exchange opportunities for young people through short term volunteer placements in countries like Zambia, with local grass-roots sports organisations.
The IDEALS project is a partnership between Zambia and the ‘Wallace Group’ which comprises Loughborough University, University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC), University of Bath, Durham University, University of Stirling, Northumbria University and University of St Andrews.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

  1. UK Sport is the nation’s high-performance sports agency. Its mission is to work in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world class success. Primarily this means working with our partner sporting organisations to deliver medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But it also gives us responsibility for activities best delivered at a UK level, such as: bidding for and staging major sporting events in this country; increasing our sporting activity and influence overseas; and promoting sporting conduct, ethics and diversity in society. UK Sport is funded by a mix of Government Exchequer and Lottery income, as well as private investment through Team 2012. More @ www.uksport.gov.uk

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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