With a focus on Zambia, the group developed a strong relationship with NGOs Sport in Action and EduSport and have worked in collaboration and have shown commitment to the establishment and sustainable practices of International Development.
In 2011 St Andrews was invited to join the group as the 7th member following two years working independently in Zambia on projects in rural communities outside Lusaka in collaboration with Sport in Action.
From the outset, the Wallace Group has worked in partnership with UK Sport through its International Development department. Its charitable arm, International Development through Sport UK, promotes international development through sport with particular focus on building partnerships to deliver effective and sustainable sports development and development through sport programmes.
The IDEALS Advanced project started in 2006, the initiators of the partnership were the Wallace Group of Universities, in collaboration with UK Sport, with the proposal of student placement opportunities in Zambia having already established links with Sport in Action. Following discussions with UK Sport it was decided that a pilot project would take place from June - September 2006 and be externally evaluated by Dr Anita White and Celia Godsall. As a result of positive feedback from University students and staff, the researchers and the participating NGO’s (Sport in Action and EduSport), UK Sport agreed to continue their support of the project and continued to do so up until 2016.
Following 10 successful years of the UK Sport IDEALS Project, in 2017 the student coaching & volunteering project will be rebranded "Volunteer Zambia" and will take over from IDEALS.
The Wallace Group was formed in 2004 as a partnership between a group of 6 UK Higher Education Institutions (Bath, Cardiff Metropolitan, Durham, Loughborough, Northumbria and Stirling) who had a shared ethos towards sport’s excellence and development.