Hi, my name is Lucy Whitaker and I am a third year student studying Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University.
This summer, I have been chosen alongside 5 other students to go out to Zambia for 6 weeks as part of the 'Wallace Group Volunteer Zambia Sport Project'. Working with Sport in Action I will be helping to deliver development programmes to over 160,000 children each week with a focus in coaching Netball. The emphasis will be on building the capacity within the country to create sustainable opportunities for people to play and progress in sport. This will be achieved in my coaching sessions, by building skills such as leadership, education, health awareness and improved performance and participation in Netball.
The two placement sites that I will be closely working with in Zambia is Kalingalinga (Netball Hub) this hub started in 2018, and currently 4 schools are involved with training sessions during the week, they have also currently started playing a league. My role is to encourage regular participation in hub activities through my coaching and to mentor new coaches and new leaders in netball coaching through my expertise. My role will be ensuring I can bring new girls through grassroots level to progress to Community Youth League Teams and beyond. My second placement site is Mtendere (Netball Hub and Team), where currently there are 6 teams training as part of the hub, both from community schools and I will also take on a similar role.
I have been a keen, enthusiastic netball player since I started Secondary School, and over the years I have progressed to further stages of my netball journey. After playing for the University I decided to take on another role of becoming a coach, and giving back what I had been taught to others. After coaching several teams within the University, I knew that the Volunteer Zambia project was perfect for me to give back to girls who weren't as lucky as me to receive the opportunities that I have had. I am excited to deliver sessions that are fun and engaging whilst out in Zambia and being able to encourage a greater proportion of women to be involved in sport.
In order to go out on this project we have had to raise £5000 as a group target and £1500 of individual targets. As part of my individual fundraising I have completed a half marathon in Sheffield, Netball mixed Tournaments, sweet and cake sales alongside other several fundraising events.
I am especially grateful for this award through 'The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust' because this has allowed me to reach my fundraising target. The money raised will help to contribute towards traveling to Lusaka in Zambia, correct training, resources and equipment for the 6 weeks.
Throughout this year, I have been preparing myself for this trip by completing several qualifications and going on many courses and workshops to be fully equipped to deliver many sessions to inspire, challenge and empower the lives of the Zambian local Communities.
This is going to be a life changing experience and I can not wait to blog every step of the way, so keep your eyes pealed for my blogs.
Simon Taylor, Inspire lead, said: ' We are delighted to make this award to Lucy whose enthusiasm dedication and genuine desire to help others to fulfil their potential speaks for itself . Good luck Lucy!'
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