Wasps joins forces with Coventry secondary school to help Africa’s next generation sporting stars

Date: 21 Sep 2018

Wasps helps Africa's next generation sporting stars

Wasps have joined forces with a Coventry secondary school to help develop Africa’s next generation of sporting stars.

Students and teachers from Caludon Castle Teaching School made the 12,000-mile round trip to the Ugandan capital of Kampala this summer as part of Africa Inspires 2018.

Africa Inspires is a Coventry-based charity which was formed in 2012 on the back of the London 2012 Olympics, with the aim of connecting and strengthening communities whilst promoting development in sport and creating sustainable water sanitation.

Ahead of this year’s trip, the Wasps Community Foundation equipped Caludon Castle with 300 Wasps Coachclass t-shirts and a range of rugby balls for students at Kiddawalime Preparatory School and Family Primary School.

The Caludon Castle team of ten students and two teachers provided the two schools with mosquito nets, bunk beds, laptops and table-tennis tables, and raised money to fund the repair of the toilet block at Kiddawalime School.

Local piping company Georg Fischer Ltd were also on hand to help, and worked with the team to oversee and fund the construction of an entirely new toilet block at Family Primary School.

Staff and pupils also delivered English lessons, ran sports sessions and had the privilege of seeing the pupils they had been working with take on other schools in an Africa Inspires inter-schools sports tournament.

The tournament attracted over 750 pupils from five different schools in deprived catchment areas around Kampala, and saw them compete in volleyball, football, rounders and tag rugby.

Another one of the trip’s many highlights saw students kitted out in Wasps gear before taking on other teams in a tag-rugby knockout competition which was overseen by Uganda’s Rugby Union.

Neal Coupland, from the Wasps Community Foundation, said: “After hearing about the trip to Uganda in previous years, we wanted to offer our support by supplying some kit and rugby balls, which we hope will encourage more youngsters in Uganda to take up rugby.

“Sport is a powerful tool that can make a huge difference in people’s lives, and we hope that by donating rugby equipment, that wouldn’t be readily available in Uganda, we can encourage youngsters to broaden their sporting horizons.

“To see children thousands of miles away playing rugby and proudly wearing Wasps colours is fantastic to see, and we hope to be able to support this project further in conjunction with Caludon Castle Teaching School and Uganda’s Rugby Union in the coming years.”

Andrew Morgan, Deputy Head at Caludon Castle Teaching School, spoke about the impact the experience has had on himself and his pupils. He said: “It is always incredibly rewarding and humbling to spend time working with our Ugandan colleagues and the pupils in their schools.

“Uganda’s youngsters have sporting ambitions and aspirations, just as they do in the UK, and there is no lack of skill and resilience. Unfortunately, access to high quality coaching and suitable sporting equipment is limited.

“The support of Wasps over the years, working in partnership with the Ugandan Rugby Union and Tag Rugby Uganda, makes a difference with their willingness to get involved.

 “Our team always speak of what they gain in terms of friendship, humour, enthusiasm, optimism, laughter, welcome, beauty and memories that will last a lifetime. We are already planning our next trip.”