Eight individuals, three different itineraries, one common destination. In the heart of Nairobi, among the roadside stalls and streets choked by garish matatus (Kenyan commuter buses), the Unity Primary school sits in a walled gated compound. Inside we were greeted by bright murals, warm smiles and truly genuine welcome.
We met with Nicholas and Mattias, our local CWB ambassadors, who coach children in over 13 schools across the capital and help initiate our first session today. Brushing off the jetlag, Lee, Sian and Dan, the early CWB arrivals, greeted a trickle of children coming from church in anticipation of playing cricket with the English coaches. This was a special session for us to have children playing cricket on Sunday, a day that is typically set aside for
church and family.
The playing field was a scrubby, dusty patch of concrete, but that was no obstacle to everyone getting involved and playing cricket with buckets of enthusiasm. It was a joy to see the kids of all ages participating in the drills, and when we asked who would carry on playing cricket, almost everyone cheered and raised their hands.
It was also a huge bonus to be able to leave the some great cricket equipment behind, kindly donated by Lords Taverners, who will doubtless be delighted to know that it will be well used by children from across 13 different schools in Nairobi.
We as coaches have also had our own learnings:
Learning 1: The best way to keep a jetlagged and groggy crew awake is to talk about your top 5 favourites foods (sandwiches, biscuits, crisps, and maize-based snacks).
Learning 2: Lee has VERY strong opinions
Learning 3: Dan is definitely the biggest cricket badger this side of the Zambezi
Sian and Rachel