by Rachael aka 3 words

Day 3 of our school coaching found us at Matsatsing Primary in Kanye, about an hour’s drive from Gaborone. Upon our arrival, we found the teachers in not what you would call normal sporty attire – high heels were far more common than the usual pair of trainers. Nevertheless, all 16 got stuck into the drills and learnt about how to incorporate the ABCs into cricket coaching. The game demo resulted in much amusement for all, as our celebrity coach Michael McIntrye (Ben) made Monty Panesaar look like Jonty Rhodes.

When we returned for the afternoon session after a brief trip into town for lunch, we were met with around 50 kids, which soon turned into 100 and by the end of the session we were close to 200. Project leader in the making, Jonno ‘Boyzone’ Todd, led the warm up drill whilst budding photographer in the making Rachael, took some excellent action shots.

Matsatsing Primary’s playing field quickly turned into a noisy arena with the smiles on the children’s faces similar to that of Clare’s when she was reunited with her bag on Monday. Four games of continuous cricket were run by both CWB coaches and newly trained teachers from the morning workshop. The enthusiasm from the teachers was fantastic to see – we even had a member of staff with a broken arm who was as keen as any to get involved. Jen and Ben were both really impressed with their assistant teacher who practically ran their game on her own, leaving them to get the ABC messages across to the children.

Mick was tasked with running a game for around 60 kids, which was all going so well until his multi-tasking skills let him down, resulting in a ball to the face. However in true Australian style his Ricky Ponting toughness prevailed and he was able to soldier on.

Ben received another round of character building, this time from the children when chants of “OI, MICHAEL, UNBELIEVABLE!” started to come from Jonno’s group. This was soon echoed by Jen, Rachael and Richard’s teams. It wasn’t all joking about though, as the coaches ensured that the ABCs were highlighted as much as possible. A game of ‘who’s group could shout ABC the loudest’ started and when teams were brought off the field, the noise erupted once again with the children marching towards each other. It was great to see the kids having no reservations in calling out these HIV/AIDS awareness messages – it fills us with confidence that they will consider these over the next few years as they move into their teens.

The day finished with the whole team back together along with Botswana head coach AJ who had booked us the best table in Rodizio, a local Brazilian restaurant. Mick and Jonno took it upon themselves to enter a Man vs Food Ashes style ‘Meat-off’. The last man standing was the Australian, however the Englishman had started eating 30 minutes earlier, so therefore we’ll call it a tie.