Netball is a hybrid between handball and basketball. While boys prefer soccer, netball is the sport of choice for girls across Southern Africa. Unfortunately, funding and access to netball is often limited or takes a backseat to soccer. The Impact Network's new initiative, NetGirls Zambia empowers and improves the lives of girls by providing opportunity for growth through play and engagement in group sport.
We currently operate in rural villages around Katete district in Eastern Zambia where we are preparing for a 2018 season with 100 teams and over a thousand girls competing for the highly sought after league champion title!
In Zambia, girls often miss out on opportunities to play sports because they are expected to help with chores and take care of younger siblings. Yet, research has shown that giving girls the opportunity to play sports has awesome benefits, including: Breaking down gender stereotypes; Building leadership skills; Expanding social networks; Providing female mentorship and role models; Teaching teamwork; Building self-esteem and improving happiness through healthy, social organized activities.
Ad-hoc teams exist in rural areas, however many lack proper equipment, structure and support to operate in an organized way. Teams are coached by volunteers and managed at the ward level by local staff. Teams practiced daily and held games with teams from neighboring villages on weekends. Scores and game recaps are announced on local radio Initially the focus has been on athletics, however in 2018 for the first time we will pilot a financial literacy training program to help build skills of young women.