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'More To Life Than Medals': Peaty On Changing Lives In Zambia

'More To Life Than Medals': Peaty On Changing Lives In Zambia

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Peaty in Zambia
Peaty in Zambia

Adam Peaty is intent in creating a legacy for himself beyond the swimming pool, placing himself amidst a community of deprivation in Zambia's heart.

The star has returned to Lusaka to develop a play park funded by the money he raised, five years after his charity bike ride across the African county with coach Mel Marshall and gold medallist Rebecca Adlington.

The country's situation is dire, only 1 in 100 shelters have running water, the minimum wage is a mere 30p and 82% of the population are under 35 due to a prevalence of HIV/Aids. 

This means that access to leisure activities including volleyball, swings, slides, basketball courts holds a great deal of importance.

Peaty told the BBC,"Creating a legacy is one of the most important things.

"It is not just about the medals and world records, it is how to translate that into global causes.

"That is especially important when you start winning medals and breaking world records - it can get out of your head a bit.

"Yes, you do like fast cars and nice clothes, but it is a fine balance. That is equilibrium at the end of the day.

"It is great to come back here and give back to so many people.

This went far beyond creating sports facilities too. The money he raised for The Perfect Day Foundation, the charity that Marshall is an ambassador to, contributed to re-furnishing a girls' dormitory at a Lusaka orphanage.

Taking 30 girls out of homelessness, distancing them from the high risk of abuse, was an immediate concern for the group.

Marshall said, "Girls here have a really hard time, they are just not treated the same - their childhood is filled with rape and with abuse. It is just accepted. They have no voice, no nothing.

"The girl side of it really means a lot to me. No female deserves to be less, to accept that they are lower in the pecking order."

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