HEROES: Empowering children through sport.
In 2013, Kirsty Coventry and Tyrone Seward toured Zimbabwe to “Inspire our Youth to become their own Heroes”. They also used this opportunity to determine what these communities needed and how they could use their successes and experiences in sport to benefit these children and their families.
Learning that drowning rates in Zimbabwe had been increasing on an annual basis with little being done about it, this became their initial focus. The Kirsty Coventry Academy was launched and a pilot project was implemented in 2015 to provide swimming lessons and water-safety messages. This pilot project and further research and planning showed other critical issues that needed to be addressed such as, the number of children not in school, teen pregnancies, child marriages, drug and alcohol abuse, and gender-based violence.
Leveraging the power of sport to teach life skills
HEROES is a community-based program that was launched in 2017 to leverage the power of sport as an effective method for tackling these issues. HEROES provides free sporting activities to children in underserved areas of Zimbabwe by utilizing existing schools, sports centres, fields, and volunteer coaches from within these communities.
The inspiration Kirsty and Tyrone found from the children they initially set out to inspire has ensured they develop a scalable and sustainable model to: save lives through drowning prevention, empower individuals through education and training, and uplift communities by providing safe centres to play sport.
Saving lives, empowering individuals and uplifting communities
Our sports offer gender neutral, fully-inclusive and fun activities. Our coaches are responsible for teaching the kids sport skills as well as life skills through encouragement and mentoring. Our partnerships with these communities means HEROES can continue to create positive changes for children and the community over a long term period.