Rugby Legends Trip 2011
Brent Pope and Malcolm O’Kelly visited Zambia in June 2011 to build homes with Habitat for Humanity Ireland
As part of their five day volunteering trip in Zambia, rugby legends Brent Pope and Malcolm O’Kelly swapped their rugby boots for hard hats. From 6am to 5pm each day, alongside local people, the crew built a three room house which would serve as a safe and decent for a family of seven.
Malcolm O’Kelly recalls his experience, saying: “There’s nothing like sleeping on a cement floor covered in dust every night with mosquitoes buzzing in your ear to appreciate the difficulties people here live in. It’s a dose of their reality”.
Rugby in Zambia
For young people in Zambia, rugby is a passion they can’t do without. When Brent and Malcolm dropped into the University of Zambia, in the country’s capital Lusaka, an impromptu training session broke out.
“This is what’s it’s all about!” said O’Kelly, “Teaching sports like rugby encourages people to strive harder and get better results. It helps people work together better as a team. I hope these skills can have a knock-on impact in areas of their impoverished lives.”
In June 2012, Brent returned to Zambia with another group of Rugby Legends, plus 17 volunteers. Click here to see how they got on!
According to Pope, “This is a chance in a lifetime for these guys to help out the charity. What they are willing to do is to show everyone in Ireland and around the world, that by very little effort, great things can be accomplished for impoverished people.”