Building the bigger picture for netball in ZambiaSubscribe
UK Sport International 25 July 2012
The IDEALS Netball programme, a UK Sport initiative which is run in partnership with Durham University in the UK, the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), the Netball Association of Zambia (NAZ) and the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC), is increasing nationwide participation in the sport through the placements of netball specialists to support local structures within the country.
Kate Donnelly, who previously worked with Welsh Netball, is the first of the three specialists this year to work with local implementing NGOs and sports structures in Zambia to share her experiences of building national frameworks. She is supporting organisations in training coaches to lead the development of netball in Zambia, allowing sport leaders to learn new skills, drills and progression and also give quality performance coaching to experienced players.
In Zambia, she has drawn upon her experience and knowledge gained through Welsh Netball to initiate a new community coach mentoring scheme, adapted from the Welsh Netball programme.
Creating coaches as leaders
Providing standardised training that allows coaches to gain accreditation, a foundation of highly qualified and skilled netball coaching workforce who have the potential to widen women’s participation in the sport that will feed upward into elite levels. Netball specialists add to the work of NAZ, OYDC and community based organisations EduSport and Sport in Action, by supporting system development and working with senior coaches on child-centred netball coaching.
“The work NGOs are doing is really impressive; they have produced local coaches with basic training, so we are simply working to refine what they are doing with minimal changes in coaching style or training to produce maximum results,” she said.
This cascading effect continues through a newly introduced peer-mentoring programme in partnership with NAZ, designed to aid community coach development. The young coaches will be mentored in lesson planning and coaching and undertake a certain number of voluntary hours to be eligible to take the NAZ Level 1 coaching workshop.
The Peer Leader Mentoring programme will also address the lack of youth involvement in the sport by encouraging youth, not necessarily players, to become timekeepers and umpires – filling the gap of trained officials in these positions.
Building bridges through netball
Based at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka, a facility that gained worldwide attention following a visit from the United Nations earlier this year, Kate has taken skills and administrative training workshops as far as Kasama, a 12 hour bus journey from the capital.
Under the guidance of NAZ, she is extending the opportunity for independent teams living in areas where NGO or financial support is not available, to gain skills, knowledge and the chance to receive a Level 1 certificate, which is highly valued in these rural areas. The delivery of quality sport is essential in building a foundation on highly skilled coaches for increased participation in the sport.
Impact on young sports leaders
Giving young people like seventeen year old, Mable, the opportunity to gain a Level 1 certificate will inspire others to join. “Listening to her talk about the troubles she faces at home and then to see her perform on the court is truly inspiring,” says Kate. “To see her gain a Level one certificate will inspire other girls to take her lead, as she is already a recognised role model to her girls,” she continues.
Building on Zambia’s sporting legacy
Over 300 athletes have joined the competition league, which was introduced as a result of the IDEALS Netball programme, with the aim of bridging the gap between youth and senior competition. The OYDC youth league, supported by UK Sport enables community teams to experience a competitive structure and provides a training ground for those that want to progress into the sport at the elite level.
With the Zambian netball teams making more headlines, the momentum is too strong to stop now. “If Zambian netball can continue to reach these heights, then it could attract more players and funders to support this potentially flourishing sport,” finishes Kate.
Find out more about IDEALS by visiting http://www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/ideals/