by tim harper : founding director at harper performance CIC
“Teach the next generation to become creators instead of consumers. Arm them with the tools to create their destiny.” David E. Glover
This summer will see the very first HP East Africa Sports Science Internship come to life in partnership with the Football-For-Good Academy and the Equator Sports Group in Kampala as part of the ongoing Project Uganda. The internship will see a local graduate from the region join HP CIC as a full-time paid sports science intern in Uganda - receiving comprehensive mentorship from the HP Projects multi-disciplinary team and the opportunity to hone their applied skills as an embedded member of support staff at the Football-For-Good Academy for 12-months, helping to continue the co-development of performance-science provisions at the Academy alongside our highly experienced projects team. Further, the intern will be supported whilst gaining relevant industry qualifications and certifications to ensure upon graduation that the intern can legitimately compete on the international job market as an equal to their more affluent and privileged peers in the Global North.
There are four primary objectives for the internship programme.
Project Uganda is all about building capacity in sports science, nutrition and medical provisions for aspiring high performance athletes in the region all the while avoiding the blind-transplanting of systems and programmes from the Western world and preventing a long-term reliance on imported international expertise. Whilst the work of our team, in partnership with the Football-For-Good Academy over the past 10-12 months has been hugely valuable in laying the foundations for improved performance-support in the region and will continue to be of huge importance over the next 12-months, it counts for nothing if those provisions and those interventions don't continue to grow and evolve after our project with the FFG Academy has come to an end.
That's where our East African internship comes in!
If we can utilise our expert HP Projects team to train local sports science graduates in current global best practice whilst developing their skills in an applied setting at the FFG Academy, we leave behind us a highly trained cohort of practitioners capable of delivering trailblazing performance-support to sports teams and athletes in the region, armed with the skills, network and knowledge to adapt and apply their local-know how and formulate innovative solutions to the unique challenges and opportunities that come with delivering high performance in the developing world for years to come.
With the short-term support of the HP Projects team, our internship provides the foundation for a paradigmatical-shift away from the traditional importation of scientific expertise in the developing world to one of self-generation and local-sourcing, where the swathes of untapped practitioner talent on the African continent can be unearthed and developed to take hold of the sporting destiny of places like Uganda.
We're incredibly excited to get things kicked off, and we're already really impressed with the quality of applications we've received from local graduates and look forward to getting out to Kampala in early-July to on-board our first cohort of interns at the Football-For-Good Academy and jumpstart the mentoring process. We'll be sure to keep our supporters in the loop on how the internship unfolds and will be sharing a great deal of content over the 12-month programme to showcase just how much potential there is in the region to develop and support performances in sport that can genuinely and sustainably compete on the world stage.
With one eye on the long-term, this first year of the internship is incredibly important. As an organisation, we are acutely aware of the responsibility we have to prove the concept and demonstrate the efficacy of such a project in places like East Africa. The reality is that if we can show the potential of the practitioner pool in the region through this internship, showcase the impact proper performance-support can have on the quality of performance for local athletes and sports teams on the world stage and demonstrate that this impact is comparable to the impact that sports science, nutrition and medicine has had in the West, then we really can shift the conversation and narrative when it comes to the sometimes archaic sports development models employed in the Global South. We really can empower the local community in places like Uganda to take control of their sporting destiny, assured in the knowledge that their practitioners are blending global best practice with local-innovation and can trust in their ability to realise the full potential of its athletic and sporting talent without the need for international 'assistance'.
At the end of this years internship, we are hoping that we can replicate the internship programme both in East Africa but also in different regions with an increasingly local staff roster of high performance practitioners, able to train and mentor the next generation so that in the not too distant future, we can handover a fully self-sustaining internship programme to be owned and managed in the locality and keep bridging the gap between academic study and applied work in high performance sport in the developing world.
With that in mind, we are throwing the doors open to individuals and businesses alike to position themselves front and centre of this innovative and exciting venture. We are offering a plethora of affordable and highly impactful sponsorship opportunities to those who want to get behind a movement that is sowing the seeds that really can transform sport in the developing world and see it competing on the world stage on an equal footing to the rest of the world.
Through this internship programme, you or your business really can be behind actual social change in sport, improve social mobility in an industry dogged by no-end of glass ceilings for the underprivileged and have a driving influence behind our fast-growing movement to make sport fairer.
If I know our supporters, then I'm confident that the opportunities to get behind this internship won't be available for too long! Check them out using the button below or get in touch with me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.