by Richard Anson

Having been “rested” from the morning session; Sam, Jenny (Smurf), McIntyre (Ben) and myself, took over from the Aussie, Jonno and Rachel.

Dagenham’s’ finest Clare aka Essex remained for both sessions, as did Adam and Clement from the BCA. We were also joined by two coaches who we had just put through their Level 1 training only 48 hours earlier.
Although absent for the afternoon session, I just want to touch on the Aussie for a few moments and notably his apparent thirst for follicular engineering. In common with most Australian males under the age of 30 (in Shane Warne’s case under 45), Armstrong possesses a mop of spiky blonde hair, but centrally placed beneath his lower lip protrudes a rare species usually known as the ginger haired dung beetle. I am not sure how this phenomenon came about, but I am sure Mick will be keen to explain in due course.

Anyway, on to far more important matters. This afternoon we were privileged to visit Our Lady of The Desert RC Primary School in Francistown. We were greeted at the gates in true Botswanian Beatlemania style, as hundreds of kids appeared from no where and high fives were exchanged for several minutes at least. Eventually, we swathed through the kids and entered the school building where we were warmly greeted by the head teacher. Shortly afterwards we were walking back through the kids who were waiting patiently for our return and many helped us carry the equipment across to the playing area.

52 pupils initially gathered to take part in the warm up relays, expertly demonstrated by Sam and (surprisingly) McIntyre. As usual chants of “ABC” reverberated around the locality and the Botswana schoolchildren once again exhibited their superb athleticism. Quickly we moved on to the drills and at this stage a further 25 kids joined us for a mix of catching and batting drills. Adam and Essex ran the catching drills and Sam, Smurf, McIntyre and myself ran the batting sessions, ably supported by the two newly qualified coaches.

We concluded with the increasingly popular “Rapid Fire” game which the kids pick up almost instantaneously and can once again be considered a huge success (credit to the Aussie for its introduction).

Before wrapping up, it is perhaps worth pointing out how attentive and polite the kids were this afternoon and in no way did this curb their enthusiasm and excitement – they were a credit to their school.

So, only a couple more days to go on what has been a remarkable adventure in an amazing country. This experience will live with me for the rest of my life as I am sure it will also for all of those I have been fortunate enough to have shared it with. I just hope we have all made that little bit of difference, that could make so much difference to those that need it most.