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Equitysport launch SMS training courses for rural athletic communities in Africa

UK-based equality in sport charity; equitysport has launched a project to provide text message education courses for sporting communities with no or limited access to the internet in sub-Saharan Africa.

Using innovative software and the pre-existing telecoms infrastructure, equitysport is now able to provide up-to-date, interactive and scalable training to sporting communities.

Interactive text messages are sent to enrolled athletes, coaches and support staff over 5 to 30 days, and in just five minutes of learning each day, equitysport is able to provide low-cost, high impact training, education and learning assessments to forgotten sporting communities across rural Africa.

Tim Harper, Founder and Chief Executive at equitysport said of the project:

When COVID-19 hit, everything seemed to migrate online, from our work to our social lives, but for communities without, or with intermittent internet access, we saw how the world ‘going virtual’ carried the very real risk of entrenching and exacerbating inequalities, in and out of sport.

We pulled a team together to focus on finding a solution that could plug the hole in the short term and provide a useful and scalable tool as the world adapts to the ‘new normal’. Thanks to the hard work of Grace and James, the first equitysport text message training course is about to launch in both English and Swahili.

We’re very excited for the wider potential of the project, and have already set to work with an international child protection charity on developing a safeguarding course, and building the software into our ongoing mentorship programmes across the continent.

With over 70% of the worlds population having access to SMS, and with the main barrier to access only limited by the cost of phone handset, text message became a realistic alternative. Drawing from experiences by NGO’s in disaster relief agencies, equitysport have worked with software providers to put together training courses and learning experiences delivered over SMS text message.

Image credit: equitysport

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