Bambisanani Partnership inspires at International conference in Australia

David Geldart, the founder and Chairman of the multi-award winning Bambisanani Partnership, was recently invited to speak at the Australian Council for Health and Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) International Conference at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, Australia

From Left to Right:
John Stokes CEO ACHPER, Pierre Comis, Sport Australia, David Geldart, Bambisanani Partnership, Dr Shane Pill, ACPHER President

The conference, one the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, attracted delegates from over forty nations. At the conference, David Geldart explained the foundation, development and impact of the charity’s work in South Africa, using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, global citizenship and leadership in one of the countries most deprived rural areas. The presentation highlighted the pioneering work of St. Mary's School, Menston, the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University in the partnership and encouraged other schools, colleges and universities from around the world to also become involved in similar projects, stressing the mutual benefits for all concerned.

“The 2019 ACHPER International Conference was a showcase where contemporary and innovative physical education, health and sport practices were presented to over 300 professionals from Australia and overseas. The conference provided an excellent opportunity for international presenters to highlight their work in many different settings. One of the outstanding international presentations was made by David Geldart from the Bambisanani Partnership. David’s unique insights on a project that uses sport to change the lives of children in one one South Africa’s poorest regions struck a chord with all attendees. It demonstrated the vision, commitment and dedication of the partnership in truly making a difference to the lives of children in another country. Attendees had many take-aways from the presentation including the power of working together (partnership), the importance of the teaching profession to inspire, motivate and lead and the impact of global leadership and citizenship in influencing young lives in a positive long-term way. The Bambisanani Partnership is an inspirational story with an inspirational message.”
— John Stokes, ACHPHER Chief Executive Officer
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“The Bambisanani Partnership demonstrates how sport for development has the potential to change and enrich lives beyond the playing field. The project represents a powerful demonstration of what education in, through and about sport can be.”
— Dr Shane Pill, President of ACHPER
“With the conference theme of ‘Enriching Communities’ the inspirational Bambisanani Partnership was a perfect fit. Teachers and other educators in attendance in the large workshop audience could see that something that is now a long term arrangement and making such a positive impact upon so many lives could start with a decision that they to could make, to join together with an underserved or impoverished community. This session was highly valued and we hope that David will consider visiting our shores again.”
— Dr Sue Whatman, Conference co-Chair
“I was touched and inspired by the presentation made by David Geldart. The proactive values of community development and building capacity for action and learning of the young people and their adult supporters, both in the UK and South Africa were admirable. Powerful stories were told of the real differences this made in the lives of the participants and in their communities. David’s presentation highlighted the need for rigorous planning and preparation for the experience. It also illustrated the power of learning in the partnership of which the impacts were evident. It would be great to see further research systematically capturing these powerful stories of change and the impact on attitudes, life outcomes and community well being.”
— Dr Helen Butler, Australian Education Adviser

The Australian Institute of Sport

“I was delighted that David Geldart recently presented at the ACHPER conference in Canberra, Australia on the topic of the Bambisanani Partnership which represents a truly authentic approach to educating children about health, global citizenship and leadership. St Mary’s School, Menston, the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University should be applauded for creating and developing this inspiring project which uses sport to positively connect pupils from different cultures. It is a clear win-win innovation with boundless benefits for children in the UK as well as those in a deprived region of South Africa. The partnership clearly has the power to change lives for the good and develop long-standing friendships across nations. Many schools around the world would benefit from knowing more about this partnership and adopting similar innovative approaches to genuinely enhancing children’s lives.”
— Dr Jo Harris, Loughborough University and Keynote Speaker at the ACHPER Conference
“The ACHPER International Conference has a world wide reputation for its influence and it was a tremendous honour and privilege to be invited to speak at the iconic Australian Institute of Sport about the Bambisanani Partnership. It is great to be able to celebrate the tremendous work of the Bambisanani team members and my hope is always that someone in the audience will see the potential in themselves or in their own institution and ‘pick up the baton’. The potential for genuine ‘two way’ learning through such programmes is limitless. Some great connections have been made in Australia and I cannot thank the ACPHER organising committee enough for the opportunity.”
— David Geldart, founder and chairman of the Bambisanani Partnership

Copies of the highly acclaimed Bambisanani book 'Bambisanani: Ten Years of Working Together and Learning Together' were presented at the Conference to ACPHER President Dr Shane Pill and to Pierre Comis from Sport Australia.

The Conference programme

Poster for the presentation