Our final morning working with the teachers was conducted under clear blue skies, the highlight of the session being our second ‘Pairs’ match which was decided from the last ball, we also looked at the pull shot and gave the teachers final tips on their coaching techniques in particular stressing the importance of coaching one point at a time and the fact that feedback and praise are vital for the children.

Disaster nearly struck in the afternoon as just as the children were due to arrive at 2 o’clock a thunderstorm blew in battering us with around 40 minutes rain. As soon as this was gone we got started on a pretty wet field but this didn’t seem to bother the children in the slightest. It was great to once again stand back and watch the coaches use the skills they have developed over the last 5 days. It would be a lie to suggest that all of the demos were perfect or that all of the coaches remembered all of the points that we had showed them but to see around 150 children playing cricket and to hear our HIV/AIDS messages ring out across the field is something that I think we can be rightly proud of.

We have now trained just over 100 teachers across the 3 towns and distributed kit to all of the schools that have participated and it is now down to these to become the catalyst for cricket to get started here in the North, it won’t be easy and I am sure there will be many obstacles in the way but I feel confident that we have made a good start and in Grayce the UCA have a passionate talented development officer who I am sure will keep things going.

Two other points stand out that give me hope, one was to hear all the teachers we have worked with here in Arua arranging to all meet again on the playing fields so that they can start to play against each other in order to keep developing their talents and also the following email I have received from one of the teachers we worked with last week in Gulu.

Hi Dearest coach
Its with a lot of pleasure & joy to communicate with you as hoping my mail gets you fine. I am Kenneth baseball coach of Gulu from Negri primary sch. Wow dear i would like to begin with Godly thanking you with your team for the valuable skills you rendered to us during cricket training at Pece stadium please. Am really grateful to update you that we have now began training & implementing the game at our sch. Please as we promised to you to make the cricket game to become the core of all games in our school & the all district at large in all aspects. Oh please i will make you updated in all our progress in cricket & really will be grateful to hear more from you please.

I would just like to thank all of the people who have helped make this such a successful and enjoyable trip to be a part of, we have been looked after every step of the way and the enthusiasm and overall friendliness of all the people we have met or worked with will remain long in the memory.

Click here to view pictures of all the new coaches.

I can’t remember meeting anyone out here who didn’t try.

Great to watch the new coaches at work.

Impressive bowling after only ten minutes coaching.

More bowling demonstrations

Arua’s newest (and only) cricket coaches.