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Inspired by a wave

Writing about his first visit to the United Kingdom, Bongani Ndlovu from Waves for Change tells us why sport as a tool for development is so important, both domestically and internationally as well as highlighting the role of today’s youth in helping to inspire the next generation no matter where they are from.


I am proud to share a few highlights of my first, and hopefully many, international trip to represent Waves for Change within the international sport for development community. The trip overall was a phenomenal experience and an opportunity to network with young leaders within the sport for development community. On the same note, I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity that UK Sport and International Inspiration have granted me.

The main purpose of the trip was to attend the Commonwealth Sports Development Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The most important objective was to develop a youth charter which will, hopefully, be implemented in all countries within the commonwealth. This charter will promote youth participation and involvement in all key decision-making levels of governance within sporting bodies, helping to ensure that the voice of the youth is heard and that all youth members of the commonwealth have equal access to play sport regardless of their ability or gender. This requires a network for communication across the commonwealth which has been established through the conference.

The conference offered panel discussions as well as workshops for members of the working group to tackle various key components of the charter. The workshops were facilitated by members of the youth charter’s working group. In addition, the working group was also responsible summarising all the key points of discussion in the various workshops in order to ensure that were contributing to the overall agenda of the charter. On the other hand as delegates we also had some inspirational panel discussions from leading members of the commonwealth who shared stories of how sport continues to unite and change people’s lives all over the world.

In short, the call to action has been sounded through the conference by bringing so many people within sports for development under one roof. All that is required now is to create awareness about the charter so that the youth are empowered through sports and that they have pathways for development.

Here at Waves for Change I am doing my bit to inspire and also ensure that young leaders within communities not only have access to sport but have the power to make key decisions within the programme. This will ensure entitlement as they develop as young leader or should I say future programme directors of Waves For Change. All this has evoked a passion within me to inspire young people to grab hold of the endless opportunities within sport. And it began with one wave.

At the moment I am currently involved in mentoring coaches on a weekly basis in order to ensure that they are capable of leading the programme soon. This is in line with the goals of the charter which aims to ensure that young people are able to be involved in the decision making process within communities, thus ensuring continuity and also pathways for a lasting legacy that is planted in the future of the programme.


Bongani Ndlovu, Waves For Change Founding Member

Bongani Ndlovu