International partnership goes from strength to strength

In 2006, through the British Council and Youth Sport Trust Initiative Dreams+ Teams, St Mary’s High School in Leeds linked with Mnyakanya High School in rural Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.  As a result, the Bambisanani (the Zulu word meaning working hand in hand) partnership was formed inspiring young people in both countries to learn through joint activities.

Over the years the partnership has gone from strength to strength and expanded to involveother schools and universities.  Whilst the Cobid-19 pandemic may have put a pause on travel the Bambisanani partnership has continued to thrive through a range of new innovations and developments linked to physical education and sport, most notably:

Cycling to Success, which has been described as ‘transformational’ by local community members is preparing to expand its provision of bikes, spare parts and tools in the development of a ‘ Cycling Hub’ at Mnyakanya School as well extend the teaching of cycling and bike maintenance in the area and potentially also in other communities. 

A Bambisanani International Athletics Challenge linking primary schools in the UK and South Africa. Over 150 children aged 9/10 participated in a range of running, jumping and throwing challenges allowing them to compete ‘against themselves’, improving personal performance over time, as well as also competing against children in their own school and schools in the other country.

Over the course of the last six months discussions have taken place with Leeds Trinity University, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Higher Education. Following considerable hard word and preparation over 100 students from both countries will begin a ground-breaking collaboration which will see Physical Education and Sport Development students jointly research and prepare resources to enhance Physical Education and Sport Development in rural schools. For students in both countries this offers a unique opportunity to learn about another culture and a different education system through ‘virtual work placements’ as integral parts of their respective courses.

Click here to view the latest Bambisanani publication and find out more about the work of the partnership.

For further information about international work contact [email protected].

Published: 11 June 2021