Getting Behind The Balls

Written By: The Lowdown - Nov• 30•12

The most popular Frenchman in Zambia today and coach of our Chipolopolo boys, Herve Renard, has become an Ambassador for Alive & Kicking, a social enterprise which manufactures soccer balls in Lusaka.


Providing his services free of charge, Herve has recently fronted an advertising campaign promoting the balls, and is encouraging Zambians to go out and buy these ‘tough, hand-stitched soccer balls’ that have been designed ‘specifically for the kind of conditions we face here in Zambia.’


Keen to stress Alive and Kicking’s importance for the growth of soccer in the nation, ‘Every child should have the right to be able to emulate Chipolopolo’s current group of soccer heroes. That’s why I’ve partnered with Alive & Kicking, they are committed to helping grassroots development through the provision of affordable and durable balls.’ Herve also is encouraging the use of locally produced products as he points out ‘The fair employment of people inLusakawill add enormous value to the country’s continuing development.’


Alive & Kicking produces about 2,000 footballs, netballs and volleyballs each month and since its establishment in 2007 it has produced and distributed over 100,000 balls. The balls have won plaudits from African stars such as Emmanuel Eboue and even by President Barack Obama. Alive & Kicking were recently rated in BusinessWeek as one of the top three products that ‘might change the world’


All of Alive & Kicking’s profits go towards funding HIV/AIDS education programmes. The inaugural Alive & Kicking Zambia public health road show this year trained 85 local youth leaders, reached 5792 young people, with over 500 young people participating in local sports tournaments.


Needless to say, Alive and Kicking are very excited about Herve getting behind their [soccer] balls and their highly thrilled and always enthusiastic Sales Manager Scott Sloan said it had been a pleasure hosting Herve at their stitching centre at Zamleather where he had shown an incredible interest in the work they do.


Alive and Kicking soccer balls are available at Shoprite, Pick and Pay, Spar and Melissa Supermarket. Or if you would like to order a personalised ball for that little tyke for Christmas or a birthday, contact Alive & Kicking on Tel: 0975 570-828,  0979 694-394 or by email


As Herve tells us in the popular Boom advert ‘Ze battle is won or lost far away from witnesses; ze battle is won behind ze sins; in ze gym, on ze road, long before the game’. Today, battles on the soccer field are being won with balls produced by Alive & Kicking’s on compound roads, in villages and at schools throughout the country whilst the battle against HIV/AIDS is being won through the good work of organisations such as Alive & Kicking and people like Herve who is using his celebrity status in soccer-mad Zambia to promote this good cause.


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