Rugby: Youth Ruggers in Zambia Making a Difference in Society

Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU)


As Schools in Zambia re-open on Monday 13th May, 2019, some young ruggers from the DieHardRugby Academy in Kabwe have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in their society. The young players have since early 2018 been volunteering for bi-monthly clean ups at a local community centre named Caleb Centre for Children with Autism.

The Centre which is located on the boundaries of the now defunct Broken Hill Mines caters for kids with various challenges which range from physical, mental, academic, etc has brought the issues of autism to the fore. Centre Director Nellie Tembo-Luulu, (whose son the Centre is named after) has had first hand experience of the challenges faced by parents with Autistic Children.

“For a long time having a child with different abilities than others was considered abnormal in our society, most people would associate such with curses and witchcraft, there by shunning those affected. However, after thorough research and consultations, I took it upon myself (with encouragement and support from friends and colleagues) to embark on this crusade aimed at helping change the mindset of society. In a nutshell, that’s the genesis of the centre” she said.

After finishing the clean up exercise, DieHardRugby Academy Founder Tom Chaloba had this to say. “It is always a pleasure to work with you and your organization because firstly, we both deal with children. Secondly, it is good for the Academy players to realize that inspite of their backgrounds and challenges back home, we all have something to give back to others”

“As you may be aware, most of our players come from disadvantaged Communities back we are hopeful that we can transform their lives using sport, rugby in particular. They have seen how some of their friends have progressed in the game and are now playing for the Zambia u20 National Rugby Team” he concluded.