Halfway through the trip and another new school to work with.  We arrived at North Road Primary School in Mbale, one of the largest schools in Uganda, at 9am ready to start coach education for the new teachers. Unfortunately we were victims of ‘Ugandan time’ and no teachers were there to get started. This gave us the perfect opportunity to have a wander around the school and get a glimpse into whatschool life is like for the children here.

We poked our noses through some classroom windows, read some interesting advice signs that were positioned around the school and then peeked around the corner to look at the sports field… As soon as we saw the children (about 400 of them) they started running towards something very quickly. I turned to see what it was just as it dawned on me… They were running towards us!! Very quickly! After 30 seconds of debating whether we run for it or stay, we opened our arms and the children launched themselves into them. Without a doubt, the most amazing welcome I’ve ever experienced!

When the teachers finally arrived we started on what turned out to be a great session. They were enthusiastic, eager to learn and had some very good questions to ask. My favourite was when Betty asked me, as I was explaining how to score a 4 or 6, why there was a boundary, as we are called ‘Cricket Without Boundaries’. Excellent point, well made! I had to then explain that cricket has to have some boundaries, but only for purposes of scoring.

During the day Step TV came along to interview Project Leader Jamie and our England bowling pro Holly for a piece about CWB to be on the 7am news. Jamie also did an interview for Top Radio, which was more excellent coverage for our work in Uganda.

Whilst we were running around chasing balls in the heat, Aj and Sarah visited 3 medical centres opposite the school to enquire about mobile HIV testing and counselling units to run at our festivals. They are currently negotiating quotes to ensure we get the best possible service for the right price. It would be amazing to have a testing and counselling facility at the festivals.

After a long but rewarding day at North Road, we got back to the hotel and hit the crazy golf course for a Ryder Cup style tournament, which I’m glad to say my team won, much to Jamie’s disappointment!

As a first time volunteer, I can safely say that this is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The smiles on the faces of all the children even before you’ve even started playing cricket with them is a wonderful thing to see and the ecstasy you see when they catch a ball, hit a great shot or win a game of pairs cricket is simply amazing to witness. Each day I’ve been blown away by the energy, enthusiasm and talent of every child we coach and I’m really looking forward to meeting some more fabulous people in the week ahead.