About 6 years ago Luke, Ron and Anke’s son, then just 10 years old, started to sneak onto Kafunta Lodge’s regular staff run into Mfuwe to play soccer with the local boys. In next to no time Ron and a member of his staff got together and formed a team for boys under the age of 13 from the local village and named them “The Super Strikers”. Soon the idea caught on and local villages started to form their own teams too. The Mfuwe Junior Football League was born.
At the start the players had no boots or team stripes and the only way to tell the teams apart was by ‘skins versus shirts’. Then in June 2011 Project Luangwa was asked to help find kits for the teams. Through generous donations from guests, the teams acquired colourful kits. But because boys grow there is always a shortage of football kits, as well as boots and balls.
Now there are 20 teams – divided into under 12s and under 15s – competing at weekends, which means about 400 boys are involved!
But what about the boys who have to leave the league when they reach their 16th birthday?
The team coaches got together and selected the best players who’d come up through the league to form ‘The All Stars’. These boys, who are all still at school, compete against much older players at Amateur League level. They will go play to Chipata or even Lusaka, giving them exposure outside their rural areas.
Team practices and games keep the boys fit and out of trouble but they need to work hard at school too. So to encourage them Project Luangwa and Kafunta Safaris want to give every young footballer in the All Stars team a ‘school kit’ to make sure that they do as well at school as they do on the football field.
But we can only do this with your help.
– School bag – $12
– Exercise books – $10
– Stationery – $5
– Maths set – $3
– Scientific calculator – $12
Further to the football league, the success of bringing sport to the community has spread to girls as well, and the league now counts 10 teams of netballing girls (under 15’s).
And it is growing… The league has now obtained land from the local Chief, and a full sport complex is planned. At the moment the fields have been cleared and the football pitch is ready, as well as 2 netball courts and 1 volleyball court. But funds are needed to proceed with the construction of the Changing Rooms and Clubhouse.
If you feel you would like to help with the sport programs, there are multiple ways to do so. You can bring a ball (football or netball) or sport shoes/equipment, or you can decide to make a donation towards School Kits or the sport complex… You decide where your donation goes!
Any donations may be made through Project Luangwa. Do make sure to email and specify in which way you would like your donation to be applied.
Thank you very much for your support!