IDEALS placement strengthens basketball development in ZambiaSubscribe
Paddy Bedi 04 October 2012
UK Sport, in partnership with Durham University, has provided administrative support to the Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) to assist the development plans for a new junior basketball league in Zambia.
Basketball is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the country, following an increasing number of children with access to the game at school. This increased participation has led to the demand of a national youth league, which currently operates in the capital city Lusaka. These efforts have been strengthened through the International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) programme and other supporting individuals.
The IDEALS programme currently supports the sport-specific development of netball in Zambia. With the experience of working with national federations through partner NGO partners, UK Sport sent basketball specialist, Florence Glen, from leading basketball institution Durham University, to help support the country’s current 4-year plan to consolidate all basketball initiatives.
With only a senior league in Zambia and a youth league in its capital, Lusaka, there are limited opportunities for young people who look to develop their skills through school and communities to improve their performance past this stage. Working closely with Mwape Konsolo from NGO, Sport In Action and Foundation for Youth Basketball Promotion (Youth Basketball League) she helped administer a national register of players, coaches and initiatives to provide a map of current basketball activities in Zambia.
Based in Lusaka, Florence and Mwape worked with the ZBA to collect information across the country. During her 4-week placement Florence also contributed practical knowledge, running strengthening and conditioning activities for the ladies u20 national team.
Speaking on her time in Zambia, Florence sees great potential for the future of Zambia. She said: “There is massive potential for basketball, as schools already play and the infrastructure is already there: in many communities you will find a basketball court. There is a well established schools tournament which is a national event organized by Sport In Action and an abundance of players, but with only one youth league and it is not set up by under the ZBA, more needs to be done to add capacity to the national structures.”
Mwape believes that the IDEALS placement has added tremendous momentum to the national plan. He said: “The IDEALS placement has added value to the existing activities on the ground, such as coaching, conducting a workshop and much needed help with administrative work.”
Peter Warburton OBE, Director of Sport and Durham University is excited to see IDEALS expand. He said: “Durham hosts two of the best university teams in the country and by extending our resources and expertise to our partners Sport In Action and the Zambia Basketball Federation, we see great success for basketball in Zambia and very much look forward to the future of this partnership.”
Commenting on how IDEALS has facilitated the placement, Joanna Knight, International Development Manager at UK Sport, believes it has brought a great dynamic to the programme. Joanna said: “After the success of the IDEALS Netball programme with Durham University, it is wonderful that we can further help increase capacity with our partners in basketball too.”
You can follow the developments of the Youth Basketball League in Lusaka at: www.foundationforyouthbasketball.wordpress.com