Best wishes from Mbabane!

Pohjoisen ja etelän kuntien yhteistyöohjelmassa on ollut vuodesta 2002 alkaen mukana liikuntakomponentti, jonka tavoitteena oli kehittää Mbababen kaupungin liikuntapalveluja. Tarjoamalla liikunta-aktiviteetteja, saadaan lapset ja nuoret keskittymään terveelliseen elämäntapaan sekä tarjoamaan ympäristö elää aktiivista lapsen ja nuoren elämää. Salon kaupungin liikuntatoimi oli tiiviisti mukana projektissa ja tuki mbabanelaisia kehittämään ja järjestämään liikuntapalvelujaan. Projektin avulla saavutettiin positiivisia tuloksia ja vaikka liikuntakomponentti päättyi uuden projektikauden alkaessa vuonna 2011, jatkuu liikuntapalveluiden kehittäminen Mbabanessa tästä huolmatta. Alla koordinaattori Penga Vungan raportti yhteistyön merkityksestä Mbabanelaisille.

Mbabanelaislasten jalkapallojoukkue

Text by Mr. Penga Vunga, Sports & Recreation Coordinator, Municipal Council of Mbabane.

In November 2009, the Municipal Council with the assistance from the City of Salo, Finland developed a Recreational and Sports Strategy. The strategy sets out a vision for the continued development and growth of active recreation, physical and sporting activities in the Municipal Council of Mbabane for the period 2009 - 2011.

One of the key concerns covered in the strategy was the lack of a sports programme for Mbabane especially for children as they are more prone to being either exposed to misbehaviour at an early age or easily become sedentary. On the grass root level, they are less catered for leading to perpetuation of negative identified issues such as misbehaviour, poor health, the foremost being the lack of children exposure to different type of sports and exposure to proper and semi international standards facilities. This then creates a platform for them to express themselves in different activities that might lead to unhealthy lifestyle or ungainly behaviour.

A survey was conducted to identify the areas of need, and it was clearly established that a sports programme has to be initiated by the Council. In this regard, the Council in collaboration with local eligible coaches have initiated a programme that would excite the children with various sporting activities such as; netball, soccer, swimming, basketball, rugby and tennis. Venues for use were also identified and these include the Prince of Wales, Courts and the Swimming pool at no fee.

The Council found it proper to start an after school programme called "Better health through playing/training".
Primary school head teachers around Mbabane were approached to give their view on the Council´s after school sports programme and forms were distributed in the various schools to take to the parents for consent; a total number of 1600 forms were returned and children were keen to join the program.

The program began on the 17th March 2010 and runs every Wednesday from 1430hours to 1600hours and a vast number of children use the Council facilities.

This is the first of its kind. There will be continuity on the programme because the children develop and they will need to be accommodated in all the sporting codes, the children at this age are believed to be at grassroots level and will be exposed to proper and professional coaching and development. It will keep our offspring busy; a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, also

  • creating a relationship with the schools and community through sports
  • exposing the children to the semi international sporting facilities
  • promoting the coaching concept through the city council

Learning-In physical recreation and sport relates to the participation in activities for intrinsic reasons e.g. fun, playfulness, seriousness, thrill, spontaneity, and friendships. Learning in physical recreation and sport includes physical skill acquisition and fitness, as well as cognitive, emotional and social qualities.

Learning-Through physical recreation and sport relates to using these activities as a means to achieve other objectives, such as an understanding of concepts like leadership, fitness, social responsibility, positive attitudes, values, ethics and community. It involves using physical recreation and sport for economic, education, cultural, social, ethical and political reasons.

Learning About physical recreation and sport focuses on using knowledge of these areas to provide a theoretical understanding of them in scientific, sociological, mental, cultural, political and moral positions. It allows teachers and coaches of physical recreation and sport to use the areas to explore meanings, significance and influences on individuals and society

By learning in, through and about physical recreation and sport, participation rates can be improved and results in a lifelong appreciation of the need to maintain healthy lifestyles.

Aims and objectives

. To improve the health and the wellbeing of the child at an early age
. Increased participation in recreational, physical and sporting activities
. Maximising use of existing and new facilities
. Optimising access to facilities and choice of activities
. Fostering and embedding a culture of a balanced, healthy lifestyle within the surrounding areas of Mbabane and its visitors
. Introducing the children to professional coaching and physically active.


In order to achieve the mission and vision of the program, it is imperative to set out goals that will be the working framework.

Goal 1: Facilities & Environment
A safe physical environment that encourages participation in recreation and sport

Goal 2: Availability & Accessibility
A wide range of physical recreation and sport activities that are made available to all citizens of Mbabane and beyond

Goal 3: Motivation & Awareness
A public that is aware of physical recreation and sport activities and motivated to take part.

Goal 4: Effective Providers
Physical recreation and sport providers are effective and working together in a coordinated manner.

Goal 5: Promising & Talented Performers
Promising and talented participants who are nurtured and given the opportunity to maximize their potential

The programme is ongoing.


Working relationship between the municipal counciol, the school sports association and the Swaziland national sports council

The Municipal Council through the Sports coordinator has recently developed a link and working relation with the National Sports Council, currently the sports council is aware of the programme in the Municipal Council and its intentions to develop sports to avoid sedentarism, Sports Council had an input in the Municipal sports and recreational strategy and proposals have been forwarded to the Council. We are working towards an MOU, as per the recommendation by Dr Bill report the Municipal Council cannot work efficiently without the knowledge of all National Sports governing body and other stakeholders e.g., the School sports association, and associations different for the different sporting activities.

Also a working relation with the Swaziland Olympic and commonwealth games association was developed this year Mbabane through the Sports office has been granted the permission to host the Olympic day run, two thousand five hundred participants of different ages have confirmed to participate on the event.


In 2006, 6 coaches and were in attached to the Turku polytechnic in Salo. They were in Finland for six weeks attending classes, they completed a diploma in Physical Education and life skills.

More were built and upgraded through the Finnish Project, the change rooms, floodlights, fencing, and the children´s playground, ever since the introduction of the facilities, the coronation park is the busiest ground in Mbabane, school children, clubs and families. The upgrading of the facilities at the Coronation Park has increased the number of participants in all the sports, it has developed interest to most people around Mbabane there are about 130 athletes of all ages that use the facilities every day , the working class has also joined different sporting codes, they are now able to play even at night. This has caused an influx of people using the courts, e.g. banks, sports association, schools, civil servants, and individual.


In 2010 the Municipal Council in collaboration with 5 qualified coaches hosted a Clinic at the Coronation Park, volleyball, tennis, soccer and netball, from 7 to 18 years old. the clinics lasted for a week , 120 offspring attended and the plan is to run the same clinic every year and more sports disciplines to be introduced, these clinics help the community and the underprivileged children to be involved and learn about different sports, in coming year, the physically challenged will be invited to participate especially on school holidays.


In 2009 two experts from Finland (Mr. Saku Nikkanen and Ms Satu Leino) were in the country for three (3) weeks and trained 40 local coaches and teachers on Physical education, there were all awarded with attendance certificates, more courses and workshop are on the pipeline to equip the coaches/ trainers, these coaches /trainers are to be monitored and work closely with the Council in developing Sports and Physical activities at school and community levels, (Decentralization).
Finnish counterparts brought along with them equipments for the workshop and to be used by the Municipal council of Mbabane for different activities.

4000 cons, 45 T Shirts, 50 bottle juices, 40 soft balls, 50 writing pads, 150 skipping ropes, 30 baskettballs, 30 soccer balls, 40 netball, and these equipments are currently being used by the children on Wednesdays. The T-shirts, writing pads and the water bottles were given to the participants.

The workshop was also attended by the physically challenged sports teacher (Ekwetsembeni) this being the only School in Mbabane that deal Caters for all the physically challenged.

On the 19th the workshop was held at the Prince Of Wales, were physical activities took place, von the same day the Finnish counter parts, witnessed the program dubbed "Better health through playing/training" , were 1300 children from around the city schools participate, the program runs every week from 220pm to 4pm, 8 committed coaches/ trainers that participated in both workshops assist the children in different sporting code, being soccer, netball, swimming, basketball and Tennis.
The Finnish counterparts also meet with various potential sponsors for the current children´s program, one of them being the director of a local sports shop, Kevin Connor; she donated a complete set of soccer jersey, 4 tennis rackets, tennis balls, two soccer balls and netballs, in additional to the equipments, Mr. Saku Nikkanen and Ms. Satu Leino added through the project funds added ten soccer balls size 5, fourteen soccer balls size 4,six tennis rackets, 6 set of whistles, five Swimming kick boards, a set of pool noodles, six basketballs, six carry bags and five sets of swimming dine fish. The equipments will go a long way in assisting the young generation.

They also had a meeting with the different coaches and other associations that have an interest in joining the program, e.g. drama and rugby.



The Municipal Council of Mbabane in conjunction with the National Sports Council have completed survey around the city on issues of health and general life skills, in line with the Councils Sports and Recreational Strategy a number of issues were identified that lead misbehaviour, and to poor health, the foremost being the lack of children exposure to different type of sports and the exposure to proper and semi international standards facilities. This then creates a platform for them to express themselves,
In this regard the Council in collaboration with local eligible coaches have initiated a programme that would excite the child with various sporting activities( netball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, basketball and tennis) The venues to be used will be the Prince of Wales, courts and the swimming pool. No charges required. The coaching session/ training will be once per week every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm.

In line with the Municipal Sports and recreational Strategy, the action plan states clearly the lack of sports development programmes by the Council, a new programme was initiated, forms were introduced in all the Primary schools in Mbabane, the children took the forms to the parents for consent. The grades are 4 and 5, ages 9 and 15, this is a good age to educate on better health and an activity is needed as a vehicle to convey the message, this is the grass root level and with continuity.
One thousand (1000) forms were signed by the parents/ guardian allowing their children to join the council programme through the theme, ´´Better Health through Playing Training."

From the 40 trained 7 were selected to work closer with the Council on the new programme, that began on the 17th march 2010, every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm, the venues are the Prince of Wales, the courts and the Swimming pool, already one thousand three hundred (1300) school going children have registered to join for the different sporting codes.
The project has an impact to the residents of Mbabane and the clubs, the facilities and the introduction of the sports coordinator has improved most of the facilities and facilitated sports breathing grounds for most sports and the programme is ongoing.


The Municipal Council has forget a relation with the two local major organization in the country, working relation the Swaziland Olympic and common wealth games, and the Swaziland National Sports Council. Both organizations are working closely with the council in terms of developing sports in Mbabane.

MOUs for are in line and at the final stages, the MOU entails a working relation and technical advice from the organizations. Currently two of the better health through playing soccer coaches, through the Council was awarded a sporting course conducted by the Olympic committee, this will be a five day course and it will assist the soccer coaches, they will be assisting the council in the community programmers.


Through the working relation with the Swaziland Olympic and commonwealth games association, three coaches were awarded an opportunity to attend a five days course on Sports administration and coaching at the Olympic centre. The course was conducted by sports expects and through assistance from the Council, through the knowledge they acquired by workshops conducted by Finnish counterparts in the past years, they were easily admitted into the course. This will aid the coaches in working with the communities in developing more programmes for the communities.


More equipment was procured, 6 cans tennis balls, 5 rackets, 8 whistles, 2 professional stop watches, 4 pumps, 5 soccer balls and soccer jerseys

These are equipments that are being used by the ongoing after school programmes that have about one thousand children, in different sporting codes, coached by the trainers that have been through the workshops conducted by the Finnish counterparts, Saku and Satu.


Amicaall is a wing on HIV and aids urban response, under the Municipal Council of Mbabane. The vision is to provide healthy and productive communities in the era of HIV/AIDS. Their mission is to build the capacity of urban communities and local government to respond to HIV/AIDS. AMICAAL social centres, 6 in total, the centres are to support the healthy, Physical, social, psychological and emotional development of Orphaned and vulnerable children, in urban areas.

The social centres around Mbabane has significant number of children that visit the social centres on daily basis, of it there are volunteers, male and female that assist the children, the ages of the children range from 0 to 5 years and 6 to 18 years, Amicaall provides them with education early childhood care and development. Below are the social centres and the number of children in each centre. The social centres have a total number of eight hundred and seventy two children, (872).

Playing equipments were procured and installed. For some of the soup kitchen. Four (4) swings, two (2) sea saw saws and a set of mini soccer poles. These equipments are to be erected in some of the soup kitchen.
Different sports programmes and life skills sessions are also conducted; the programmes are part of decentralization process as per recommendations. These equipments will be Council property and to be maintained, monitored and inspected on weekly basis.


The project had an impact and assisted the Municipal Council of Mbabane in a good way. Initially the Council did not have a Sports and Recreation Section, sports were not part of the organization and it was not promoted in the communities and in the city in general.

Today, a large number of residents use the facilities and are more interested in sports. In conclusion, below

1. The Sports and recreation section was introduced to the Council and a Sports coordinator educated through the project was hired.
2. A Survey was done in the City by Dr, Bill
3. A Municipal Sports and recreation Summary was developed for the Council.
4. 70 teachers and coaches basically attended sports courses conducted by the Council and the Finnish counterparts.
5. Programmes for the school going children and the communities were initiated
6. Courts (tennis, volleyball, basketball, netball and squash) all were built and renovated through the project.
7. The project funded a sports and administration Diploma course in a college locally for the Sports Coordinator and he completed in 2009.
8. The number of residents participating in physical activities in the city has increased

Mbabanelaiset liikunnanohjaajat saivat diplomit koulutusjakson päätteeksi.