Africa beckons for Bungay volunteer Lewis

Lewis Wright (19) is travelling to Zambia for six weeks to coach sport and teach life skills to chil

Lewis Wright (19) is travelling to Zambia for six weeks to coach sport and teach life skills to children in a number of communities.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A student from Bungay is preparing to spend his summer working with underprivileged children in Zambia.

Lewis Wright has just finished the first year of his sports science degree at Durham University and will be putting the skills he has learnt so far to good use when he travels to Africa on August 20.

The former Bungay Sixth Form student was inspired to sign up for the six-week sports coaching project after hearing fellow students speak about their own Zambia trips.

He said: “I’m really interested in different cultures and I want to gain a better understanding of what it’s like in Zambia, I’ve never been to Africa before.”

But Mr Wright, who will be based in the country’s capital, Lusaka, is aware his coaching will present challenges he has not encountered while teaching tennis in England.

“I could have 60 children, or I could have 10,” he said.” The main challenge will be being adaptable. some of the children will be walking for two hours or more to get to the placement. There might be kids that are able to come once and not again, and you can’t plan for that.”

Equipment will also be basic on the programme, but Mr Wright hopes the project’s work will show the children they can still enjoy sport, whatever their resources.

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“I want to show them how easy it is to put on a training programme or a sports session without all the resources we have in England, you can do quite a lot on just a dirt pitch with one football.”

Aside from hoping to help the children have fun through sport, Mr Wright will also have the opportunity to teach life skills and personal and social education. And he hopes to help the programme continue long into the future when he returns in October.

“You can make a difference in six weeks, and I hope to inspire the children to carry on with sport while I’m back in England” he said. “But you can help after the project as well and I want to try and talk to other students who are going out there in the future.”

Mr Wright has taken part in fundraising activities to raise £1,200 to cover his costs of getting to the project, run by Sport in Action. He has also had financial support locally, with donations from councillors and the Bungay Area Rotary Club.

And Mr Wright hopes to raise another £700 before he flies out to help pay for extra equipment.

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