Through the Volunteer Zambia project, the principal focus of the Wallace Group is to support the work of Sport in Action in the area of sport development, primarily the partnership between Sport in Action, the National Sports Council and Sports Federations who are developing a network of sustainable community sport hub sites across Zambia.
Community Hub Sites
Increasing Capacity – Developing Leaders – Engaging Communities – Making an Impact
Run in the community, by the community, for the community, the aim is to establish sustainable programmes that widen the impact of sport, but also provide pathways for young Zambians to enrich their lives through participation, leadership, and education.
Hub Sites are located, owned, and managed by the community in which they serve, ensuring the right people are empowered to facilitate their continuous development. They are run by a Hub Site Coordinator and managed by a leadership committee, formed from a group of committed individuals from the community who have shown an interest in the initiative.
These are often teachers, coaches, and guardians who are already contributing directly through a group participating at the hub site, and who wish for greater involvement.
The Hub Site Coordinator oversees all activity within the hub site and is supported by a leadership team who help with the running and progress of the hub.
Members of the committee have their own individual areas of responsibility, which provide a pathway for people to develop their skills as leaders, coaches, officials or managers.
Collectively they come together to ensure effective delivery of a programme that is tailored for their community. Each member of the team has to be accountable to and for each other for success; ensuring sport is now sustainable in these communities.
Hub sites provide regular training and friendly competitive sport to high numbers of children at grassroots level all year round. Frequent league games and tournaments are organised across the different hub sites and these events provide a great platform for widening relationships between participants and across communities.
The hub sites act as a feeder into the Community Youth League (Netball) and Youth Basketball League, with the best players, coaches, umpires, and competition managers filtering into this level of the sport.
The hubs have been established in communities where these leagues already have a presence, ensuring a direct link and a relationship that is progressive and developmental.
Sitting above this level is the ZBA and Senior Netball League, providing senior elite performance sport from which the Zambian national teams are selected.
Sport Development Pathways
The partnership with the National Associations and National Federations has created a pathway for players, coaches and other sport related roles.
The hub sites are the entry point at grassroots level, introducing a high volume of children to sport, with a focus on fun and engagement.
The development of leadership roles within sport for young Zambians is also core to the hub site model, with players, coaches and site leaders supported through the relevant sports pathway (SIA Talent Teams, Community Youth League and Youth Basketball League).
The partnerships with the Associations and Federations has also enabled a much more complete opportunity for coaches to gain qualifications in their sport.
The structures and organisations sitting above the hubs have now been linked to embrace those who wish to progress further as players, coaches, administrators, for example. This helps children remain engaged and motivated, and equally the hub site facilitators.
Partnerships are key to the sustainability and development of sport in Zambia and help to provide greater opportunity for social change.
The hub site model was established through a partnership between Sport in Action and the National Federations and is now accepted as part of the sporting pathway in Zambia. A number of hub sites are now linked with the Netball Association of Zambia and the Midlands Basketball Association, with hopes to extend these partnerships in the future.
Sport for Development
The high volume of participants now engaging with sport through the hub sites has enabled Sport in Action and other local partners to reach and positively impact the lives of many more young Zambians through their educational programmes. Sport is now opening channels to the ‘hardest to reach’, helping Sport in Action to address relevant social issues and make a real difference to the lives of young people from within the communities the hub sites serve.
Community Sport Hub Site Tool Kit
The Community Sport Hub Tool Kit provides a step-by-step guide for communities and leaders looking to develop their very own sustainable hub site.
The tool kit has been created and implemented by Sport in Action in partnership with:
Current Community Hub Sites
The map below shows the network of Community Hub Sites currently operating across Zambia. Many are located in the capital Lusaka – use the controls on the map to zoom in to see these sites in more detail.