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Inspiring UK students to engage with issues of sustainable development through sport

International Inspiration (IN) joins UK Sport and the Wallace Group of Universities to support the development of students and coaches in the UK and Zambia through a UK and Zambia exchange programme called IDEALS. 

IDEALS is a unique sport programme which develops both coaching and leadership skills, and provides valuable cultural exchange for all participants. UK students work with Zambian sport practitioners and coaches to support the delivery of daily activities of Zambian NGO, Sport in Action. The programme is an opportunity to work together, develop culturally sensitive coaching styles and widen the reach of sport for development work.

Using sport as a tool to empower marginalised groups is central to IN’s global programmes, as is promoting equity, opportunity and sustainable improvements in young people’s lives. Through IDEALS, IN and UK Sport and the Wallace Group of universities (Bath, Durham, Northumbria, Loughborough, St. Andrews, Cardiff Metropolitan, and Stirling) provide a global exchange experience that aims to benefit all those involved by developing skills, promoting equity, and enriching young people’s understanding of the world around them and their role within it.

IN joins the programme, now in its tenth year, with the aim of inspiring UK university students to engage with issues of sustainable development, understand more about the role that sport can play in promoting unity, equity and opportunity for all, and explore how they, as individuals, can help contribute to sustainable and inclusive development, both during their placement in Zambia and beyond. The IDEALS programme contributes to IN’s key impact area of increasing access to opportunity for young people. This partnership  provide opportunities for 18-22 year-olds from the UK to work in an international context as sport coaches, working in partnership with local sport for development organisations, exchanging skills and enhancing their perspective on the world, the role of sport and their responsibilities as global citizens.

At the heart of the IDEALS programme is six core principles to ensuring the programme is:

  • Mutuality and reciprocity: Working together with shared responsibility (resources, skills, knowledge and experience) for the project.
  • Partnership: An equitable partnership between organisations, including shared agendas, purposes, resources and accountability.
  • Global citizenship: Gaining an understanding of global factors and local issues which are present in our lives, localities and communities through learning of each other’s position and role in relation to the world in which we live.
  • Personal development: For all participants, the opportunity to work in different ways, to be receptive to new ideas and demonstrate an openness to change.
  • Diversity and equity: An ability to be included in the programme, irrespective of background or resources.
  • Sustainability: Having a long-term impact upon communities and institutions overseas and in the UK, and developing sustainable networks.

Dawn Goodwin, Head of Programme Delivery at International Inspiration, is extremely excited to join the programme: “IDEALS will provide young people in the UK with a fantastic opportunity to understand more about how sport can be used as a powerful tool for equitable and inclusive development. It gives a really practical insight into how sport can contribute to the bigger picture and develop responsible citizenship both on and off the field, at home and overseas. We all have a role to play and IDEALS gives UK students a chance to think through how they can continue to use sport to inspire unity, equity and opportunity for all, during their placement and in the years that follow.”

Keep an eye on IN’s Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates on the programme.