Barclays Spaces for Sports today announces that the programme will launch in Zimbabwe, reaching two of the country’s biggest cities.
Through football coaching and teamwork, the new Skillz for Youth programme aims to inspire and educate 15,000 young people about how to identify and address the risks of HIV, reducing their risk of contracting the virus.
Participants will also be encouraged to improve their self-esteem and develop their financial literacy skills.
Additionally, the scheme plans to create a team of 100 coaches aged between 18 and 35 who will act as community role models, and aims to reach a further 100,000 indirect beneficiaries by publicising the programme’s messages via events, press coverage and word-of-mouth.
Skillz for Youth will open on 8 June in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, and will run for three years. In the third year, it will be extended to include operations in Gweru, the fourth biggest city in the country.
The new programme builds on Barclays partnership with Grassroot Soccer, an organisation which has managed a successful Spaces for Sports site in Zambia since May 2009.
Kirk Harrison, Head of Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “Barclays Spaces for Sports is delighted to be extending its partnership with Grassroot Soccer into Zimbabwe, a country with a real need for sport for development programmes such as Skillz for Youth.
“The programme will not only help tackle the HIV issues in Zimbabwe through a proven football curriculum but will also create a structure of trained coaches who will keep implementing the curriculum locally, hopefully for years to come.
“This is an important legacy aspect that all global Spaces for Sports programmes are designed to incorporate.”
Barclays Spaces for Sports is part of the company’s community investment programme, which leverages the Group’s long-term sports sponsorship expertise.
The £37.5m global programme recognises the power of sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities, tackle key social issues, and help people develop vital life skills.