Good Friday came along with a dilemma, with all schools supposedly having the day off in Francistown, there were a distinct lack of children to coach. This was compounded by the fact we were told most locals would leave for their home villages on this day, illustrated by the ghostliness of the town as we browsed the streets of Francistown looking for breakfast.
However, unperturbed by this dilemma, a plan was put together to head out to one of the outlying communities 22km outside of Francistown itself. With the help of Stan, a local NGO worker, children and adults were made aware of the session which would be taking place that afternoon. ‘Mobalisation’ took place that morning, ready for a 2pm start.
Upon arrival in …, we were amazed at the vast football pitch presented to us. Our first job was to chase off the goats, cows and donkeys which occupied the area, much to their bemusement. This done, a couple of the team set to work on engaging a few local boys who were hanging around on the periphery of this open space. Whilst this was done, the rest of the team decided to engage in a Soccer AM styled crossbar challenge, an activity which saw Liam completely miss the ball, Dimpho almost clearing out Clem, and Ross coming closest!
By this stage, we’d started to attract some attention, and after a brief demonstration of cricket to both adults, and children, Good Friday giveaway could begin! 4 stations, 4 skills, 4 letters, many prizes!!
The stations were set out to include all the HIV/AIDS awareness messages. A incorporated abstain from bending your arm whilst bowling; B was be faithful to one partner in a catching drill; C saw a batting station, whilst T was a test of nerve with a game of crossfire. Each coach took responsibility for a small group (which grew in size as interest increased throughout the afternoon), and took them around the stations, before wristbands were given out to each participant which completed the circuit!
After a few impromptu games of rapid fire to finish, Ross took his life into his own hands, and Good Friday giveaway really kicked off. With what started with a couple of kids requesting the remaining t-shirts we had, soon turned into a mass of 72 bodies, swallowing Ross up within no time. Firebrand t-shirts, England kit and ECB water bottles were distributed, before it was decided a couple of team members should possibly rescue Mr Opie from his plight so the team could head back to Francistown, after a very rewarding 2 and a half hours to round off our week in Francistown.
However, that wasn’t the end of Good Friday giveaway, as Kenya Airways decided to giveaway an extra few days in Botswana with a flight cancellation and moving us on to Thursday’s flight…will we ever get home?!
Watch this space…