Community Coach Matt Thomas Wraps Up Development Work In AfricaLeigh Centurions media releas
Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:48 AM
“My time out here has been amazing; I’ve been witness to a fall and change of government, meeting the new Prime Minster, his deputy as well as many other influential figures and actually making a real impact and difference to the lives of the children of this country”.
Matt has been working for the organisation Coaching for Hope funded by Nike (Red) teaching life skills and coaching sports in and around the country, from the busy cramped conditions of the capital through to the remote mountainous snow topped regions of Lesotho preaching the messages of sexual education, HIV and AIDS prevention as well as instilling key beliefs such as the appropriate use of contraceptives, the empowerment of women and disability in society. Using sport and his time with the Leigh Centurions as a tool to help educate these children where the HIV rate is 1 in every 3 people.
“Using everything I learnt from the community department and what I was taught at the start it became very easy for me to break down social barriers and get to helping the communities here from the word go. The amount we achieved is testament to the great work ethic of the other volunteers and I, but also the hard work of the Leigh Centurions for recruiting and educating me in their sports development setting”.
Besides Matt’s work in the classroom he has started to mobilise girl’s football and disability sports creating football and multi-sport leagues from the success of the pilot schemes “females tackling HIV and AIDS through sport” and the “Lesotho Youth Olympics and Paralympics”. Identifying and educating the recruitment of female, disabled and able bodied peer leaders, coaches and match officials. Hosting a number of different workshops to continue his amazing work and to provide a lasting legacy for many years to come.
“Having the full backing from my partner organisations made the implementation of what I envisaged all the more possible. I couldn’t of achieved it without the hard work and dedication of Skillshare International, the Lesotho Football Association, The OlympAfrica Youth Ambassador (OYAP) Program and the Lesotho Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (LENEPWHA) respectively”.
Matt is looking forward to his to return to Leigh as he starts his PGCE in Physical Education in September and continued work in the Leigh community. He intends to continue his volunteering efforts at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and thoroughly supports the “beLEIGHve” Super League 2014 campaign. We wish him all the best in his travels and future career.
Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:52 PM
Posted 04 July 2012 - 05:03 PM
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