Bhubesi Pride Foundation enter Bournemouth 7s 2020
Rugby-for-good charity Bhubesi Pride Foundation (BPF) will be entering a team for B7s 2020 the very first time: ‘The Bhubesi Barbarians’. The players making up that team are very special people. At different times in the last 8 years, each of them will have flown out to Africa to volunteer with ‘the Pride’ for a period of several weeks or months, taking part in the charity’s ambitious overland rugby coaching expedition.
It’s been a fascinating journey so far. Founded by former teacher, Richard Bennett, BPF first set off on its intrepid mission in 2012, driving the length of Africa from London to Cape Town, working with schools and passionate rugby communities along way. If the hundreds of corresponding emails which to’d and fro’d in the preceding preparatory months didn’t form the base for long-standing rugby relationships, the work carried out on that first pioneering mission certainly did. A path had been paved and the work those four amateur coaches carried out that year set the wheels in motion for the future successes of the charity.
Since those early days, BPF has carried out eight annual expeditions. Every year, the charity coaches over 4,000 children (boys and girls) and collaborates with 150 local coaches and teachers (male and female) in over 60 schools and communities across eight African countries. Working alongside in-country partners, the charity has initiated 12 legacy projects, including spaces for sport, updated school ablutions and security, improvements to a special needs facility, installed IT classrooms, and road safety and tree planting activities.
Today, BPF assists and funds a Tanzanian rugby development program and runs a similar sports and education program in Malawi, led by a full-time development officer. Two years ago, the charity took another giant stride forward by registering a NGO in Malawi, purchasing a 7-acre plot of land and set out on its masterplan to construct a very unique facility. A build project now well underway, BPF’s completed sports and education centre will feature a full-size sports pitch, netball, basketball and volleyball courts, a clubhouse with changing rooms, canteen, two learning spaces and an upper-level viewing deck. There will also be accommodation on site for a manager and 30 visitors.
Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, Bhubesi Pride Foundation is looking for great people, passionate about rugby and keen to share their love of the game in Africa. Since inception, BPF has welcomed over 200 volunteer coaches from 30 countries around the world, aged 18 to 65. You can apply to join the charity’s next expedition, opting to participate anytime between January and September, for anything from 3 weeks to 7 months. You can also visit Malawi to see the charity’s build project in action and, either on your own or part of a group, help to deliver a development program with local schools.
To find out more, learn about the charity’s vision and goals and to submit an application, head to rugbyinafrica.org. Also, at next year’s Bournemouth 7s, you can chat to the Bhubesi Barbarian players to hear about their coaching experiences in Africa and visit the charity’s stand who will be exhibiting throughout the festival.
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