Today we assessed our 8 teachers on their Level 1 coaching certificates, before coaching 330 children in the afternoon. A busy schedule and a great team effort all round today. There was singing, there was croaking (Bronwen lost her voice!), and of course there were gaffes. However for a change I thought today I would let the rest of the team describe the action…
Assessment Group 1
So it finally came round to the big moment for our teachers. It was their chance to show off their African take on the ABC-infused cricket sessions we had been delivering the previous two days. We split off into pairs of assessors: Bronwen and I in one; and Jethro and Cal in the other. The coaches (Innocent, Douglas, Ronald and Thabego) had all shown great enthusiasm for the CWB message (when Douglas, the deputy head wasn’t on the ‘phone!), and although slightly nervous, the passion and quality of sessions delivered was impressive.
The pull shots were right out the textbook, the ‘boweling’ needed some work, but they ‘abstained’ from bending their arms, and the entertainment and natural charisma was infectious. We even heard ABC messages that we had not even taught them. These ranged from ‘driving AIDS out of Africa’, while perfectly poised during a front drive; to ‘getting a grip on your partner’, while demonstrating how to grip the ball. Don’t worry, one of those messages was said in jest in a group of teachers – there were no kids around at this stage!
We were looking for the teachers to demonstrate capability in five main areas: making it fun; making it safe; cricket (technical); HIV/AIDs messages throughout; and coaching style and techniques. With short sessions for each coach, they all did brilliantly, and with a little clarification in their post-session reviews, we were thrilled to be able to pass them all as Level 1 coaches.
Assessment Group 2
Our assessors were team Ian and Graham and team Scott and Chris. This was the opportunity for the 3 candidates to show their newly acquired skills to the ones who matter. Andrew started the session with a thoroughly professional delivery of basic bowling. Not only did he demonstrate well but added the A, B, Cs at every opportunity. Ian gave an excellent debrief and a pass to our first candidate.
Our second candidate Liesego was amazingly enthusiastic and delivered the Pull stroke skilfully and maintained our 100% pass rate.
Our third and final candidate was Isau who delivered a session on Catching which was again impressive maintaining our 100% pass rate
All three candidates will be an asset to any School and be able to deliver a really good Cricket lesson.
The presentation ceremony was fascinating and unlike any other. Firstly, there was genuine delight from all the candidates to have passed although the reading out of their names, in some cases, proved difficult. This was followed by singing from the Botswanan candidates which was their way of thanking us. It was delightful and was followed by hugs and affection. The course and assessment brought us all together and we had become friends. Sadly, we had move on. (editor’s note: Ian filmed the song ‘Ha a yo Mathata’ and his commentary was inspired – “wasn’t this song in the Lion King?”)
Tachibona Primary School
We headed 20 kilometres back towards Francistown to the Tachibona Primary School in a small town called Dukwe. This is essentially a copper mining town and we were visiting the primary school and what Clem predicted would be 100 kids. We had a big football pitch size area to work in and with some cooling cloud cover things looked good. However…..
We set up our same four activities as the previous day but this time we had approximately 330 kids to coach! Most were from the school but some had joined us off the street – they know a good time when they see one. Most of the schoolkids had gone home and come back in their scruffs and a few still had their uniforms on. Clem’s allocation of kids into groups turns out to be as accurate as his prediction of numbers – the result was one mega size group and others merely big.
Great fun followed. The kids always come at you with a smile, and then come back again with a bigger one regardless of what happens in our sessions. The groups were too big to do what we wanted but they all got a chance to show their catching, throwing, batting and bowling skills and we got our ABC messages across well. I’m guessing this group spoke less English than others but we still got the feedback we wanted.
Cal’s ripped shorts showed off more than just his coaching skills – it could explain the smiles on the kids faces – but no one seemed to mind. Then disaster, a man down. We got back to the mini bus to find Jethro with his ankle iced up and looking much bigger than it should be. The uneven ground we work on is always at the back of minds and Jethro appears to have fallen and dislocated his ankle (lovingly snapped back into place by his mum). With a lot of coaching to come in the next few days this is not good news I expect we will rally.
The rule of the African bush dictates that injured animals are left to their fate and this was suggested for Jethro. However, it was pointed out that an injured, one legged Jethro would be quicker than me (harsh but true) so we have kept him with us.
The session finished in great style with a presentation of kit from David to the headmistress, a very clear ABC message in Setswana from her and then a wonderful rendition of the Botswana national anthem. Then the usual farewell chaos and we were back on the road back to Woodlands for a lovely dinner of the traditional sausage.
#notsoinvincible Gaffe of the Day goes to our latest addition to the growing injury list, Jethro Menzies.
Tomorrow we are doing some more coach education as well as meeting a Village Chief and doing a ‘day in the life’ video that will hopefully get published before the end of our trip.
Cal D (editor!)