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By perfectday, Aug 2 2017 09:05PM

It has been 10 days since group 2 arrived here in Zambia and the time is already soaring. I arrived a day after everyone else as a result of a delayed flight in Heathrow and then a missed flight from Dubai. On my arrival, however, I was welcomed by some group 2 members at the airport, and I was happy to find myself feeling very comfortable around everyone in no time. Our first few days were spent settling in, unpacking, and playing loads of modified games thanks to Gethin. We’ve played indoor volleyball, card games, hand tennis, and pretty much anything with a ball and a bit of competition. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we’re absolutely loving it. It’s not very often that find yourself living with a group of people who not only love sports as much as you do, but who are also just extremely competitive. It’s such a relief to find ourselves feeling so at home after only a week. It has been great having Jon, our project manager, here because not only is he very relaxed but he is also full of information not only about all of our placements but also just about Lusaka and the Zambian culture in general. We all feel very comfortable going to him with any questions, which has relieved a lot of unnecessary stress. In addition, we have Gethin as our staff member at the moment and he is an absolute legend. He is calm and responsible while also just loads of fun. I don’t think he realises the impact he has already made on us all. At the risk of sounding really dramatic, the thought of him leaving next week is a very painful one.


By the end of our first weekend I think many of us were feeling a bit nervous about placement on Monday even though we didn’t want to admit. However as soon as we had our first day most of us felt a lot better no matter how good or bad it went. Just finally being able to visualise what placement would be like was a huge relief. My first day at Chipata was absolutely bomb mainly because any spare time we had we got to spend it with the little babies. I could put every last one of them in my pocket and take them home with me. They are so excitable and seeing how happy we can make them even with such little effort is absolutely amazing. No feeling can beat it.


In terms of coaching I think our second week will be really big in terms of confidence and comfort. So far we’ve had five solid days of learning from peer leaders as well as testing what we already know. I’m excited to see what week two will bring for myself, my group, and for all the kids we get to work with.



By perfectday, Jul 24 2017 06:07PM

The next adventure is now only one month away and I am so excited to be returning to Zambia to tackle 50 hours of sport over 5 days, with the hope of raising £50k. The money raised will go towards a number of projects: facility construction, food programmes and educational sponsorships.


It has been 11 years since I first touched down in Zambia. ELEVEN years. Trying to avoid a cliché here, but time really does fly! In 2006 I was a naive 20 year old, with boundless energy and an unrelenting passion for sport. What I didn’t know at the time was the power that sport can have in shaping the future of young people – both English students and the local Zambians. I think the most powerful lesson I learnt on that first trip, was the reciprocity of sports coaching.


I landed in Zambia to blazing sunshine and a sea of vibrant colours. The women were dressed in traditional dresses called ‘chitenge’, children on their hips and shopping on their heads, their faces a-wash with smiles. The children were in abundance; galloping around the streets, playing with any items they could find that vaguely resembled a toy!


I will return next month as a 31year old, still with boundless energy, just with a slightly longer recovery time!! One magical factor that is accentuating my excitement, is that this time I go back with the luxury of having seen firsthand the power that sport has to change lives. When I first returned from Zambia eleven years ago, together with some great friends, we set up The Perfect Day Foundation with the ambition to provide sustainable funding to young Zambians in order to help them to make informed life choices, in some instances, to simply give them the luxury of choice – in practicality, this is school sponsorship, food programmes and facility creation. We endeavor to provide the tools and resources that will enable these amazing young people to achieve their dreams. Since we founded The Foundation we have seen over 60 children through school, built several facilities including multipurpose sports pitches and toilet and shower blocks, as well as creating a sustainable food programme for a local street kid drop in centre. We are desperate to continue our work and grow the programme to benefit the lives of more young people – both in Zambia and those travelling from the UK.


Next month, I will be part of a team of 14, including the sensational British swimming coach Mel Marshall and one of her incredible athletes, Adam Peaty, and together we will take on this massive challenge. We will have 10 hours of basketball, 10 hours on netball, 10 hours of volleyball, 10 hours of football and to finish we will have a 10-hour triathlon….all over the course of 5 days. We are fortunate enough to also be joined by a number of the CEOs that represent these sports in the UK, which will further enhance the learning and education on the ground in Zambia.


Over the coming weeks we will be publishing interviews with a number of the awesome team, so you can learn more about them, their motivations and their sporting prowess. As I say, we are hoping to raise £50k, so if you would like to donate, please give what you can here.


Live footage will be streamed throughout the week to show you just how hard we are working for the funds : )


Thanks for listening, Mols x


By perfectday, Jul 18 2017 10:51AM

The next adventure is now only one month away and I am so excited to be returning to Zambia to tackle 50 hours of sport over 5 days, with the hope of raising £50k. The money raised will go towards a number of projects: facility construction, food programmes and educational sponsorships.


It has been 11 years since I first touched down in Zambia. ELEVEN years. Trying to avoid a cliché here, but time really does fly! In 2006 I was a naive 20 year old, with boundless energy and an unrelenting passion for sport. What I didn't know at the time was the power that sport can have in shaping the future of young people - both English students and the local Zambians. I think the most powerful lesson I learnt on that first trip, was the reciprocity of sports coaching.


I landed in Zambia to blazing sunshine and a sea of vibrant colours. The women were dressed in traditional dresses called ‘chitenge’, children on their hips and shopping on their heads, their faces a-wash with smiles. The children were in abundance; galloping around the streets, playing with any items they could find that vaguely resembled a toy!


I will return next month as a 31year old, still with boundless energy, just with a slightly longer recovery time!! One magical factor that is accentuating my excitement, is that this time I go back with the luxury of having seen firsthand the power that sport has to change lives. When I first returned from Zambia eleven years ago, together with some great friends, we set up The Perfect Day Foundation with the ambition to provide sustainable funding to young Zambians in order to help them to make informed life choices, in some instances, to simply give them the luxury of choice – in practicality, this is school sponsorship, food programmes and facility creation. We endeavor to provide the tools and resources that will enable these amazing young people to achieve their dreams. Since we founded The Foundation we have seen over 60 children through school, built several facilities including multipurpose sports pitches and toilet and shower blocks, as well as creating a sustainable food programme for a local street kid drop in centre. We are desperate to continue our work and grow the programme to benefit the lives of more young people – both in Zambia and those travelling from the UK.


Next month, I will be part of a team of 14, including the sensational British swimming coach Mel Marshall and one of her incredible athletes, Adam Peaty, and together we will take on this massive challenge. We will have 10 hours of basketball, 10 hours on netball, 10 hours of volleyball, 10 hours of football and to finish we will have a 10-hour triathlon….all over the course of 5 days. We are fortunate enough to also be joined by a number of the CEOs that represent these sports in the UK, which will further enhance the learning and education on the ground in Zambia.


Over the coming weeks we will be publishing interviews with a number of the awesome team, so you can learn more about them, their motivations and their sporting prowess. As I say, we are hoping to raise £50k, so if you would like to donate, please give what you can here.


Live footage will be streamed throughout the week to show you just how hard we are working for the funds : )


Thanks for listening, Mollie (Founding partner) x

By perfectday, Jun 28 2017 08:31PM

Week 1 of the project!! The first weekend was free for the students to arrive, settle in, sort out their Zambian phones and visit the Lilayi Elephant Sanctuary.


The start of the week saw us going to Sport in Action to watch the Zambian under 20s play, it’s amazing how much they value even their U20s team, compared to in England where nobody really bothers. After lunch we had the in country induction, which gave the students the opportunity to learn about their placements and meet their peer leaders, who they’ll be working closely with for the next 6 weeks and also learn about the differences between the British and the Zambian culture.


Truck tour – one of the best days of my experience in Zambia!! Going round all the placement sites on the back of a flat-bed truck. The smiles and excitement of the kids was overwhelming and infectious! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed being able to see all the placements and the kids reaction just goes to show the level of appreciation they have for us being here.


The first day of placement I attended Chipata. It was a great first day! Getting stuck in to PE sessions straight away with the SEN class and grade 4, both a challenge in different ways, but was great to start to build the confidence of the students in leading the songs and movement games. The afternoon saw the students lead basketball and football sessions. The language barrier was the one main challenge, but the students soon came up with alternative communication methods or made use of the peer leaders to translate.


The group have very quickly settled in to their placements with just one or two minor issues, but all were quickly sorted! I cannot wait to see what the next 5 weeks will hold!



By perfectday, Sep 25 2016 07:33PM

Last year I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Zambia IDEALS project by a friend. This has meant that for the last two years I have been fortunate enough to spend 6 weeks in June and July working and volunteering in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. It is hard to put into words what I have gained from this experience. Having been back now for well over a month I still often miss the country and people which I have been so blessed to have visited.


A normal day on placement in Lusaka is characterised by its distinct lack of normality by our expectations. Just travelling to placement is an experience in itself. Buses in Zambia are very much a love it or hate it experience. You are crammed into a tiny, often broken down bus, with four or five people on a row of seats designed for three. You then get to barter with the conductor in order to secure the best price. It is a process which should be embraced. Travelling on the us is also very different because of the interactions you have with the people on them. Zambians are in the main incredibly outgoing and friendly people and they will always attempt to engage you in conversation.


The thing that makes the whole experience so special is the people. The volunteers and staff at Sport in Action are so hardworking, friendly and inspiring. It is almost impossible not to become incredibly close with the peer leaders at the placement sites you work at and visit who are all friendly and welcoming. But above all else it is the children you teach and coach who have the most profound impact. Despite often having very little they turn up to PE or sport sessions everyday with a sense of happiness and excitement which is hard to describe. Whilst lessons can often be chaotic given the number of children, often topping a hundred, taking part they are also immensely rewarding given the enjoyment on the faces of those taking part.


Perhaps the most important thing I have learnt as a result of the project is to rethink sport development and third world development projects on the whole. So often they get painted as ‘Us’ going over ‘there’ to help ‘them’. In actual fact I have learnt so much more from the people I have met in Zambia than I could ever teach them. For me development projects such as this a are two way process whereby the people who travel to Zambia in the project get as much out of the programme as the local children and coaches. I would strongly encourage anyone who has the chance to take part in the project, you will get more out of it than you could imagine!