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Zambia Women's Rugby 7s Mufulira 2020

Zambia Women's Rugby 7s Mufulira 2020

Mufulira is a Copperbelt town of about 300,000 people located in North Zambia where the British discovered copper in the 1920s. Today, at 1800 metres, it is the second deepest copper mine in Africa. Copper has been continuously mined in Mufulira since its discovery, while the Mufulira smelter takes in concentrates from the region. In colonial times the main mining company in the town was called Roan Consolidated Mines (RCM), then in the 1970s, after Zambian Independence in 1964, the mines were nationalised before being re-privatised in 2000. The Mufulira mine and smelter is now majority-owned by Glencore AG in Switzerland and run by their subsidiary Mopani.
We are grateful to Glencore and Mopani for the chance to team up for a fantastic celebration of international sporting friendship.

Mufulira Rugby Club In 1933 the copper smelter in Mufulira was established… followed by the Golf Club, Football Club, Swimming Club, Tennis Club, Boating Club – and the Rugby Club!

After Zambian Independence in 1964, the Rugby Club fell into disuse but under the recent the management of the South African employees and managers of Mopani, Rugby is now a proud central activity in the town, obtaining crowds of between 1000 and 3000 for the big games.

With Mopani’s support, the Club House, pitches, stands and changing rooms have been restored, floodlighting installed, and unused connected buildings brought back into service for community light industry. Meantime, 84 members of the club have fast-tracked into permanent employment at Mopani.



The Mufulira Club • 3 teams, formed in 1969 • Competed in South Africa in 2018-19 • Leopardesses, est. 2017






UK-Mufulira links Following a visit to Somerset in the 1990s by a delegation of Anglican priests from Zambia, links with the UK were established. This resulted in the twinning of Somerset/Mufulira schools and an exchange programme for teachers and pupils. Out of this, evolved The Cary Mufulira Community Partnership Trust (CMCPT) with its Zambian opposite The Mufulira Cary Community Partnership Trust.

In 2008, members of The Minor Metals Trade Association (MMTA) advocated for the removal of airborne sulphur pollution which led to Glencore/Mopani installing sulphur capture equipment in 2014. With donations from MMTA members for works in Mufulira, in 2018 the MMTA formed a charity called Friends of Mufulira (FOM).

FOM sponsors NHS doctors to go to two hospitals in Mufulira for their overseas elective. FOM, CMCPT and other supporters have sought to partner the local community in the interests of medical and educational outcomes. On the educational side, this has resulted in visits of teachers from UK, long term friendships, donations of school books, water provision, and the building of a school hall. In the medical field, donors have supplied an anaesthetic machine, ECG machine, autoclaves, an ultrasound machine and other medical consumables as well as funds and oversight for water provision for a hospital.

Mufulira Rotary, International Rotary and various Rotarian Groups in Somerset have also made huge contributions. Each year between 10-14 people from UK travel to Mufulira through the eco-tourism group IntroZambia further deepening bonds between UK/Mufulira. Meanwhile, Bath Spa University is twinned with the Mufulira University College of Education exchanging students annually.


We require sponsorship of £5000 to take additional coaching / teaching personnel to undertake outreach and confidence building in the schools.

Provisions in Mufulira To be covered by our hosts: ▪ Internal travel between Ndola airport and Mufulira (not onward travel within the country) ▪ Accommodation and subsistence

Travel considerations & IntroZambia’s advice ▪ Full vaccinations and anti-malarials such as Malarone ▪ Risk assessment with assistance from IntroZambia who has experience of taking groups to Zambia for 25 years ▪ Medical issues will be referred to Malcolm Watson Hospital – a well-equipped private hospital owned by Mopani mine ▪ Two other hospitals in Kitwe

Assumptions ▪ UK squad of 12 with three support staff incl. coach and physio ▪ Insurance to be provided by UK Rugby Club side ▪ Onward visits within Zambia to be self-funded by team members or funded by the UK Club

Taking UK women’s rugby to Mufulira 7s ▪ To be ambassadors for the sport of Rugby ▪ To assist Mufulira Leopardesses to experience the challenge of competing with overseas teams (normally limited to sub-Saharan Africa) ▪ To create and foster Rugby links with Mufulira ▪ To empower and encourage women’s belief in themselves through sport ▪ To experience the welcome and warmth of Zambian culture ▪ To reach out to local schools and share knowledge and experience with schoolchildren and coaches ▪ For UK side to experience a sub-Saharan African country and build on the already deep UK/Mufulira links

Coach statement “Since 2016 women's rugby has grown in profile in Mufulira and due to our successes, we are gradually altering the view that rugby is primarily a sport for men. By travelling to play teams outside Zambia, the ladies’ skills and motivation have developed greatly. Having an international women’s team visiting Mufulira will not only be good for the country and club but will benefit the ladies at an individual level. This will also motivate them as a team and give them a sense of belonging. Seeing successful players from England will make them realise that they can make it in life too and the concept that people here have, that sport is a waste of time, will change.”
Zambian Manager of the Leopardesses, Yvonne Mambo

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