What do you do when you arrive at a school ready to coach 50 kids and find 450 more sitting outside to watch? You coach them as well!
Having already coached more than 500 children across four different schools we arrived at Nakuru Elite – our last stop of the day – to find 50 kids ready for action and around 450 sitting outside to watch.
Within seconds the decision had been made to involve all 500.
And in a blur of cricket, congas and choreography what transpired was one of the most inspiring, chaotic and impactful coaching sessions you could ever wish to see.
Incorporating an exciting cricket experience with HIV/AIDS awareness messages, chanting, dance and unstinting energy, the session summed up everything that a CWB session can offer.
Seeing a 250-strong conga line snake its way around the field as stumps are knocked over, balls struck with incredible force and the most unlikely catches taken, must be seen to be believed.
With more than 500 smiling faces and HIV/AIDS awareness chants echoing through the corridors as we left, the session showcased both the power of sport to bring joy to people and to deliver valuable life lessons.
According to the headteacher, Mr Wanyama, very few of these children had ever played cricket before and girls taking part was unheard of. After the CWB visit he was determined to ensure that the enthusiasm that had been ignited would continue to burn brightly long after we had returned to the UK, with opportunities for boys and girls to play. His right hand man in making this happen will be one of his teachers, Joseph Ochieng, who had attended a CWB coach education course earlier in the week. A well-built, wholehearted and slightly ‘old-school’ figure, the strides he made in adapting his approach to ask the children questions and incorporate in the ABC messages he is one of the many success stories of the trip so far.
Hearing how he had proudly presented his level two certificate to Mr Wanyama a few days earlier was a touching and poignant moment.
The final word must go to the coaches from Cricket Kenya and particularly from CWB. Coming from a culture in the UK where it is easier to say no and health and safety or lack of equipment are too readily used as excuses, the adaptability and positive attitude on show was amazing.