This Autumn, CWB sent 3 teams of volunteers to Uganda and Rwanda to deliver cricket, while using the game to share messages about HIV prevention and Testing, challenging stigma, and empowering boys and girls to believe they can change their communities for the better.
We coached 13,594 young people, check out exactly where we went with this interactive map.
With the originally planned Kenya project re-scheduled following the announcement of a re-run of the presidential election, team Kenya became team “Uganda West” and joined the original team “Uganda South” to form a Ugandan super-project. The Ugandan Cricket Association worked incredibly hard to arrange a second project at short notice, and it payed off handsomely as between them the two projects coached 8,591 young people. Thank you to the UCA for making it happen!
Uganda South went to Kasese, Mbarara and Kabale. In Kasese the team enjoyed coaching against the stunning backdrop of the Rwenzori mountains, and had great success implementing the new integrated activities, using them to promote discussion about topics ranging from HIV myth-busting to future ambitions while teams waited for their turn to bat. A “Testing Day” also proved a hit, with 124 participants getting HIV tested through our partners at TASO, while also testing their cricketing skills.
In Mbarara the team enjoyed a very busy session with Uganda Martyrs (372!) as they took over the local “golf course”, and ran another successful rapid-fire festival with a focus on girl power, and HIV testing. The final stop in Kabale offered a broad spectrum of sessions, from chaotic primary school relay races to secondary school sessions where the team could start to see proper skill acquisition and some real development in the level of cricket.
Throughout, the team tailored their HIV messages to those in front of them; introduction to the “ABCs” for beginners, and more whiteboards and discussions for older students. A final festival, and a further 80 tested for HIV, brought the team to a final total of 4,557 coached, and 179 tested for HIV.
Meanwhile Uganda West travelled to Fort Portal and Masindi, travelling via Nairobi to collect CWB legend Mathias who took his first flight, and journeyed for the first time out of Kenya. With the relatively last-minute scheduling due to the shift from Kenya to Uganda the team had fewer coaching days than typical, but they were determined to make up for it by maximising the days they did have. And maximise they did, coaching 4,034 young people across 22 schools. In Fort Portal the team had the opportunity to work with each school multiple times, and particularly enjoyed the students from Kyebambe Girls who were keen for extra sessions after school almost every day. At the festival 18 teams vied for victory in Primary and Secondary competitions, and even schools new to cricket and CWB had the chance to experience success as over 35 games were played.
In Masindi the team were reunited with our friends at Family Spirit, a fantastic school/orphanage with a huge passion for cricket; at one visit the team witnessed a pick-up game with shoes being used in lieu of bats! A hugely successful festival saw well over 400 young people compete in pairs cricket and rapid-fire competitions, and 226 participants and teachers were able to access HIV testing, thanks once again to TASO. A trip to Masindi Center for the Handicapped was a rewarding way to top off the project, as the team embodied the spirit of “cricket is for everyone” to spark a passion for the game with not just the students but also the very enthusiastic and kind headmistress.
CWB has been supporting UCA to grow the game in these regions for several years now, and a month later it was heartening for the teams to receive reports from the schools’ national finals in Kampala, where several familiar school names finished as winners and runners-up.
You can read the Uganda project blog here.
And check out more photos from their Flickr pages here.
Team Rwanda showcased a litany of firsts in their project: first time in the new region Karongi, first Rwanda Cricket Association/Cricket Without Boundaries Level 2 coaching course, and first dance-off in the rain at a world-class cricket stadium.
One of CWB’s strengths for our partner cricket associations is using a CWB project to help launch cricket in a new region, to develop a passion and enthusiasm for the game. Karongi was no different. Working with 8 brand new schools, 1,541 young people, from primary through to University age, were introduced to cricket, including a session at a quarry where the team made the most of the facilities around them and used abandoned lorry tires as very effective targets. A final festival with 10 teams cemented a love of the game in the area, as players really embraced this strange but wonderful sport.
Next stop Muhanga, where the team met a wonderful local teacher, Livingston, who attached himself to the CWB team and proved himself not only to be a natural at the CWB coaching method, but invaluable in helping the team get their HIV messages across to participants. As in Karongi, the team worked with a great mix of primary, secondary and university students, and were able to help ensure cricket continues to grow by training 13 new coaches from local schools.
Meanwhile, Lee Booth and Ed Lamb had headed to Kigali, to kick off the inaugural RCA/CWB Level 2 Cricket Coaching Award. 12 young Rwandans, including our very own Tall Eric and Joseph, were put through the 3-day course, which focused heavily on game-based learning and situational nets in order to overcome the shortage of match play opportunities faced by players of this still-growing sport. Supported practice and a final assessments saw 9 newly-minted Level 2s who will now be tasked by the RCA to go spread the game to more regions; they’re aiming to be in all 30 by 2020.
The final stage of the trip saw the whole team re-united in Kigali, and alongside more coaching and festivals the team were also involved in the launch of the brand new stadium in Gahanga, funded by another UK-based charity RCSF. It was a real treat for the team to see boys and girls who were first introduced to cricket by CWB pulling on Rwanda jerseys and striding out to the middle to represent their country. At the big opening ceremony the team played some classic rapid-fire, high-catching and cross-fire, and Team Rwanda also led a dance-off on the outfield as play was delayed due to rain, earning them a photo spot in that months’ Wisden Magazine.
You can read the Rwanda project blog here.
And check out more photos from their Flickr page here.
All told a successful Autumn, with big strides on sustainability made in Rwanda and fantastic ongoing work to reach the “provinces” in Uganda. While the rescheduling of the Kenya project was a disappointment a new project is in place for Spring 2018 and things currently look calm in the country. Coaches in the Nairobi region will be tided over with some Coach Education at the end of November, and this will include work to upskill the Kenyan CWB ambassadors. It is safe to say the future is looking bright for cricket-for-good in East Africa.