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Olympic swimming champions launch fundraising campaign #Zambia5050

Swim England News

Olympic swimming coach Mel Marshall will be leading a group to Zambia in August of this year to raise £50,000 to support under-privileged children in sport.

Marshall, who coaches Olympic breaststroke champion Adam Peaty, is patron of the Perfect Day Foundation. They are the charity supporting the initiative. With the support of Peaty and some of his fellow athletes, the group will aim to raise £50,000 by completing 50 hours of sport.

The team will take on 10 hours of sport a day, across five days. Each sport will take place at five different locations in Lusaka and its local communities. The five sports are netball, football, basketball, volleyball and triathlon.

Marshall has been raising money to bring more sporting opportunities to Zambia for a number of years. She said: “On my previous visits to Zambia I have seen how valuable sport can be in enhancing the quality of life of young people who have next to nothing.

“I promised myself I would return every Olympic cycle and try to raise money to give them a chance to enjoy sport and learn valuable life skills. Every donation makes such a big difference to the lives of these young people.”

The money raised as part of the #Zambia5050 campaign is earmarked for use in building a residential sport training facility in the area.

If you would like to donate money to the campaign, please visit the Perfect Day foundation website.

The ‘Volunteer Zambia’ project

The ‘Volunteer Zambia’ project is now in its 12th year and sends dozens of students from seven universities each year. The universities are all part of the Wallace Group. It comprises of Bath, Cardiff Met, Durham, Loughborough, Northumbria, St Andrews and Stirling.

The students that head out to Zambia help to deliver coaching, build new sports facilities and undertake sports development capacity building programs.

The Wallace Group, alongside Perfect Day and several sports NGBs, are supporting the #Zambia5050 campaign.

Loughborough University Director of Sport Development Tim Garfield said: ”Zambia is a country with major challenges. HIV has devastated whole communities and poverty is everywhere. Despite this, its young people are friendly, optimistic and many have incredible sporting talent.

“They love the release and joy sport provides and I am passionate about giving them better sporting opportunities. Mel’s utterly selfless efforts to give sporting chances to young Zambians who have next to nothing is inspiring.”