The coin toss: We’ll bat please

Once again, 25 CWB volunteers from across the UK converged on Coventry for the CWB training weekend, bringing together a diverse group of men and women of all ages and backgrounds, with a shared vision of using cricket for good.

Despite some technical difficulties early in the day, the teams were soon into the swing of things, setting their targets for the weekend and getting a introduction to CWB’s brand new resources developed together with CWB partner Avert, based on participant feedback collected in the Autumn 2019 projects. You can read all about that work here.

A quick introduction to a “classic CWB session”, and then a go at the first section of a coach education session, looking at the basics of coaching close catching and how to incorporate messages throughout the session.

The final practical session was a go at some of the CWB staple games, including rapid fire, fastest game in the world, and myth busters, while we looked at how to incorporate the new secondary school resources. The competition soon hotted up, and a few volunteers and members of the delivery team wore the occasional tennis ball as bats were swung and stumps aimed for. A good sign for the energy of the projects to come!

Some great questions about HIV testing and stigma were raised through the games and on the back of the new flashcards and whiteboard exercises, showing both how useful these tools can be and helping the delivery group and peers within the teams build the collective knowledge and confidence of the teams.

We wrapped up with a what-to-expect-on-arrival session, as the vital role of Ambassador was outlined, the plans for each group’s two weeks were discussed, and any initial questions about accommodation, transport, and health were covered off. The day done, the group retired to the bar of the Premier Inn to watch the rugby, discuss the day, and anticipate pizza, sleep and training weekend day 2!

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