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Sports Equipment arrives in Zambia 23 January 2008

On the 15th June 2007 the residents of the Isle of Man packed a 40 foot lorry, filled with donated sports equipment, destined to be used by children in Zambia.

The generous donations were made following the Department of Tourism and Leisure launch of their ‘Sports Equipment for African Children Appeal’ on the 15th January 2007. The appeal called for Isle of Man residents to donate both used and new sports equipment to the worthy cause.

The equipment was collected by the Zambian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Anderson Chibwa during a visit to the Island on 15th June and included sports racquets, footballs, basketballs, rugby balls, hockey sticks, and sports kits.

The lorry load of equipment has now successfully arrived in Zambia after a journey that has taken it half way around the world.

The organisation ‘Sport in Action Zambia’ is currently distributing the equipment to where it is most needed which will be given mainly to children living in extreme poverty in rural villages and local schools according to the needs of specific regions.

Department of Tourism and Leisure Minister Adrian Earnshaw said:

‘This has been a fantastic project which I know Manx people have taken to their hearts. Many will share in my disbelief that some children in Zambia have never even seen sports equipment. It is incredible to think that the odd item lying around the house will enhance and enrich the lives of children living in conditions from which, fortunately, the majority of us in the Western world are exempt.’

The appeal was co-ordinated by the NSC Project co-ordinator Carl Glover who explained:

‘I am so proud of the generosity that has been shown by the people of the Isle of Man. At first, our aim of filling a 40 foot lorry seemed like a very daunting task, but I am incredibly pleased that we have achieved our goal and the equipment is now being used by children in Zambia.’

During his visit to the Island, His Excellency Mr Anderson Chibwa explained how Zambia is using sport to tackle many of the social issues facing the country, particularly Aids and the HIV virus. Sport appeals to many children, and as a consequence provides a platform for many of the social issues to be tackled. Sport keeps children fit and active. It also enhances social inclusion through bringing communities together. It is a very powerful means to reach out to people. He also commented on how much the generosity of our residents will help the lives of children in Zambia.

The Department of Tourism and Leisure would like to thank the National Alliance of Youth Sports, G4S Security Services (Isle of Man) Ltd, DHL, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Charles Turner- Intersport, Pulse Fitness, Manx Petroleums, Total Isle of Man Ltd and Kallkwik for supporting the project.

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