Our first day in Gulu started with an African personal best for both me and Rich as 22 of 29 teachers were waiting for us in the stands of the Pece Stadium when we arrived at 9.45. This allowed us to get started almost on schedule with what was to be a shortened day as the ground was booked to be used by the end of term sports finals for the local schools at the u14 level, a sign that big things were about to take place on the ground was the team of around 30 children who were busy picking up empty plastic bottles and other debris from the field.

This industrias womble like activity soon halted as we went to the centre circle with some balls and a couple of bats to play a bit of rocketball. A happy half hour was spent before a teacher finally cracked down on the fun sending the children back to their task.

As with the first day in Lira today was all about getting the teachers who have never played cricket before to have some fun with both bat and ball without any of the serious coaching that will follow over the next few days. With the departure of Ed back to the UK Grace the Ugandan coach who is spending the three weeks with us was pressed into service early to run the warm up and it is great to see him taking on some of the techniques that he has seen over the last week and putting these into practice. His enthusiam and passion for cricket is a joy and I feel confident that he will be a great asset for the UCA in nurturing the game here in the North of the country.

After a 1.30 finish we crossed the road from the stadium for a drink and to plan our journey back to the hotel, however it seems that both me and Rich share the same level of enthusiasm for watching sport as we both decided that it might be a good idea to go back to the stadium to have a quick look at what was happening.

We then proceeded to spend the next three and a half hours happily watching first the netball final then the volleyball all culminating in the main event of the day the football final which after watching the first half we eventually decided that it might be a good idea to make our way back. The fact that the final was as one-sided as the recent England v Italy game but with goals may have been a factor. There must have been nearly 2,000 children in all watching the game and the atmosphere was lively to say the least, even the occasional Vuvuzela didn’t spoil the party.

After showering back at the hotel we made our first venture into the centre of Gulu, first impressions suggest it is slightly bigger and busier than Lira although has a very similar feel, a particular highlight was seeing the winning schools jogging and singing their way through the streets trophies aloft in their very own version of the bus parade. It is these almost random events that seem to happen on all CWB trips which helps make the experience so special.

After a nice meal in the Pearl of Africa we had a 20 minute stroll back in the dark to the hotel, the sights sounds and ankle breaking potholes are a magical experience and as I type now we are back in the Muzungu heavy bar at the hotel having one final nightcap before retiring ready for a full day of coaching tomorrow.

More pictures from the finals can be seen here

A bit of rocketball before the coaching is always fun with the street kids

Grace runs the new coaches through their first warm up.

First looks at the coaching cards always raise a few question – what’s a short run? Hard to explain on the first morning.

The second goal is scored just before half time.