Darius Knight says he is prepared for an emotional time during his upcoming trip to Uganda to take the power of sport to disadvantaged youngsters – but it is “an amazing opportunity and privilege” to make the journey.

The Londoner is an ambassador for the Right To Play charity, which uses sport and play as an educational tool to help the personal development of children and young people.

He is leaving next week for a four-day trip to the East African nation, which is one of the poorest in the world and where only an estimated 57% of children attend secondary school – with that figure even less among girls and in rural areas.

A group of boys taking part in a Right To Play session in Uganda
A group of boys taking part in a Right To Play session in Uganda

He will join school and community projects in the capital, Kampala, and the surrounding area, helping to inspire youngsters and leaders and create a positive environment where children can learn teamwork and fair play and build skills, character and confidence.

Darius has worked with the charity for some years and helps raise its profile and funds by attending events, supporting campaigns and donating auction prizes and funds as well as by visiting projects.

He said: “This opportunity came to me before the London Olympics. They were using sport to teach people from all over the world with less fortunate backgrounds. This is something I can relate to, in the fact sport has changed my life and taken me to many places.

Darius Knight in action
Darius Knight in action

“Myself going to Uganda will probably be a bit emotional, knowing how lucky I am to British but also knowing some of my ancestors came from the African countries.

“I only try to get involved with things in which I have a real interest or if it is personal to myself. Right To Play is a great charity with many great people behind the scenes. Being able to go to Uganda and help deliver some sessions will be an amazing opportunity and privilege – rather than donating money, sometimes your time is more valuable.

“I feel with everything going well in my life there is nothing better then giving back and also even greater giving back to the less fortunate.”

Darius hopes to share his experiences and photos on the Table Tennis England website after his return.