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Grassroot Soccer (GRS), an international health charity based in the US which has operated in Zambia since 2005, will deliver the three-year initiative with more than $230,000 funding provided by Barclays Spaces for Sports.

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We are honoured and excited to have the opportunity to work with Barclays Spaces for Sports to help tackle the tremendous challenges that Zambian communities face due to HIV/AIDS...
Kirk Friedrich, Grassroot Soccer Managing Director and Co-Founder

Barclays Spaces for Sports is a global programme that brings sustainable sports sites and projects to disadvantaged communities around the world. As with this project in Zambia, it recognises the power of sport to deliver social change and revitalise communities.

The partnership will train and then support 40 local coaches (60 in years two and three) so that they can deliver the GRS curriculum to more than 18,000 youngsters aged 12-14 over the three years.

The local coaches are part of PEPFC (Peers Educating Peers Football Club) to enable greater social outreach in all communities. The coaches are talented young players that serve as powerful local role models for young people.

All coaches will attend a ‘Training of Trainers’ course which will focus on increased knowledge of HIV prevention and healthy living, as well as developing wider communication skills to share their knowledge with the young people they work with.

Coaches will also benefit from personal development courses to support them in practicing and improving skills learnt on the training course, with extra tuition in a range of areas including administration, forward planning and building a CV.

Kaluba Kangwa, head of Bauleni United Sports Academy, a local partner of Grassroot Soccer in Bauleni, said: “The Grassroot Soccer programme couldn’t have come at a better time in Zambia when statistics for youths affected by HIV/AIDS were getting out of hand. Through the interesting game of soccer, my team and I are now aware of the dangers and communicating what we’ve learnt to those we work with.”

Zafar Masud, Managing Director for Barclays Zambia, said: “We are delighted to be announcing this new partnership with Grassroot Soccer. Barclays believes that sport has a key role to play in revitalising our communities all around the world, and we look forward to this investment delivering a lasting impact here in Zambia.”

Grassroot Soccer Managing Director and Co-Founder, Kirk Friedrich, said: “We are honoured and excited to have the opportunity to work with Barclays Spaces for Sports to help tackle the tremendous challenges that Zambian communities face due to HIV/AIDS. By providing youth with the knowledge, skills and support to prevent themselves from getting HIV, Grassroot Soccer and Barclays Spaces for Sports are using the power of football to contribute toward creating an HIV free generation.”

Barclays Bank Zambia will further support GRS by developing appropriate financial capability training for the coaches.

Barclays Spaces for Sports, Barclays Zambia and GRS will also complete a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan.

Since  its launch in the UK in 2004 with partners the Football Foundation and Groundwork, Barclays Spaces for Sports has created 200 sites in disadvantaged areas across the UK benefiting half a million people. In 2008 Barclays Spaces for Sports was extended globally with further sites and projects already established in South Africa, the United States, the UK, Spain and now Zambia.

Barclays has committed more than £37 million to Barclays Spaces for Sports since its inception, along with a further £30m donated and raised by the Football Foundation.

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