A Heartfelt Welcome and an Impactful Start Our journey in Kitwe, Zambia, began under the expert guidance of our host, Stephen Chanda from the Care Sport Foundation. His thoughtful planning of our itinerary perfectly balanced the local culture with our organizational goals. Our first destination was St. Francis Secondary School, where we trained over 35 educators. The enthusiasm and commitment of these teachers, many of whom walked miles to attend, set the tone for our entire visit.
Immediate Application of Training Post-training, we introduced local children, some familiar with 2-4-1 from our remote sessions, to practical applications of what we had just taught. Their eagerness to learn and participate, arriving as early as 8 am, was truly heartwarming. Providing them with lunch, including the local favorite nshima, added to the day’s camaraderie.
Building Bonds Through Sport and Education The following day, over 80 children greeted us with excitement. Our continued training with educators, interspersed with curious children peeking in, was a beautiful blend of learning and laughter. The feedback from educators was overwhelmingly positive, eager to implement our unique blend of physical literacy and social-emotional learning in their communities.
Engaging Activities in Challenging Conditions We organized the children into groups, leading them through various sports activities, including team handball, modified ultimate Frisbee, red ball, and American touch football. The educators assisted us, enhancing their familiarity with the children, many of whom had walked significant distances to participate. Despite the sweltering heat, Stephen’s foresight in providing water ensured everyone’s hydration.
Cultural Exchange and Joyous Moments Our free-play sessions were filled with joy and cultural exchange. The children’s circle games, brimming with laughter and dance, offered us a glimpse into the vibrant local culture. The warmth and community spirit were overwhelming, making our departure difficult.
A Historic Soccer Match An exciting addition to our itinerary was attending the first Zambian women’s national team game at a major stadium. The atmosphere at Nddola Stadium was electrifying, and the game showcased the significant progress of women’s sports globally. Notably, the substantial male attendance indicated a positive shift in societal attitudes towards women in sports. And – the “Copper Queens” won 6-0!!!
Visiting Local Schools and Communities On December 6th, we revisited St. Francis and journeyed to other schools, including Mumbashi Primary and Bushfire Elementary. These visits offered us deeper insights into the local education system and allowed us to thank and connect with the educators and students we’d impacted.
A Visit to Bushfire Elementary and Meeting a Local Orphanage Our journey to Bushfire Elementary was an adventure in itself, leading us to a campus that proudly housed an orphanage run by LifeSong. The commitment to start programming for these children was a significant outcome of our visit.
Experiencing the Mpundu Twins School Our visit to the Mpundu Twins School, a private institution dedicated to nurturing vulnerable students, further validated the universality of our program. The school’s commitment to integrating our approach across various subjects was a testament to the adaptability and relevance of our methods.
A Personal Glimpse into Local Life Our final stop was Stephen’s home, where we met his family and experienced the realities of life in Kitwe. The simplicity yet self-sufficiency of their lifestyle was a profound lesson in gratitude and sustainability.
Conclusion: Reflecting on Our Journey As we reflect on our four days in Kitwe, the experiences and connections we’ve made are indelible. The joy, resilience, and warmth of the Zambian people, the eagerness of the educators and children, and the cultural richness have profoundly impacted us. This journey has not only been about imparting knowledge but also about learning, growing, and forming bonds that transcend geographical boundaries.
About Steve Boyle
Steve Boyle is a visionary leader and advocate for youth sports and physical literacy. As the Executive Director of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc. and Co-Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve stands at the forefront of the movement to transform the youth sports paradigm. His forward-thinking anti-specialization approach has garnered acclaim from esteemed institutions like the Aspen Institute. At the helm of 2-4-1, Steve has skillfully guided its expansion from its flagship location in West Hartford, Connecticut, to a range of locations across the U.S., Canada, and Africa. His leadership has not only scaled the program but also redefined the standards of youth sports Beyond the scope of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve’s influence extended to developing the National Association of Physical Literacy, where his insights as Advisory Board Chair were pivotal. His tenure as Global Lead on Physical Literacy and Athletics for Whittle School & Studios marked a significant contribution to the global community, shaping the athletic and physical education frameworks across campuses in Shenzhen and Washington, D.C. Steve is equally known for merging his expertise in counseling with his coaching acumen to create the TOP Self social-emotional learning platform. This innovative endeavor leverages sports to impart essential social-emotional learning skills, cementing Steve’s status as a national authority in physical literacy development.