Sport Malawi 2008-2009
It all started with Liz… During my undergraduate studies I was fortunate to study in multi-cultural environments and subsequently became good friends with students from all around the world, including Malawi. In the summer of 2008 and after I completed my final year I headed to Malawi to teach at a theological college in Blantyre but before leaving for Malawi I had applied for the Trainee Chaplain position at The University of Gloucestershire.
On my return from Malawi I was luckily offered the job and on starting the role in September 2008 one of my first conversations was with the Director of Sport who suggested that there was a real appetite among the sports students for an overseas volunteering programme. I thought this was something that was possible given my Malawian connections and the University’s wealth of sporting knowledge. And so the wheels were put in motion.
In its first year, Sport Malawi had over 80 applications from students all around the university for just 8 places. Those selected were of the highest caliber and came together to form an excellent team on what would be an exploratory expedition to the “warm heart of Africa”. On the Malawi side, stakeholders formed an organising committee and they put together a participant led programme of delivery. This included team orientation in Nsanje, multiple-workshops with coaches and church leaders in Blantyre and a teachers training college in Lilongwe, training sessions with various sports clubs, schools and the University of Malawi in Zomba, as well as many meetings with possible partners including the Malawi Olympic Committee, Malawi Council for Sports, and the Football Association of Malawi. The 2009 Sport Malawi expedition and team laid the foundation for how the programme would develop in the years that followed….