Festival day had hit Musanze, a day which no CWB coach could possibly not love. A day where the new skills you have taught the children throughout the week in the heat and various playing facilities of differing quality and sizes are put into practise. For myself this is the most rewarding day of the week as these children had never played cricket this time last week and now they will do everything they can to be the local cricket champions.
For Africa the day began without too many changes to the schedule. (I must advise never to write a playing schedule the night before as things ALWAYS change). To be fair more teams turned up than we expected which isn’t a bad thing. Six secondary and six primary teams arrived with all teams consisting of four boys and four girls. This was huge for the team as one of the main points of the trip is equality and integration.
The cricket ran smoothly, a very civilised event where teams played in a round robin with the top two progressing to a final. The teams showed upmost respect for each other, while competing in a very competitive tournament, each game though always ended in a hand shake between all players and their teachers.
In the end GS Nyangie won both the primary and secondary competitions, after topping both their groups earlier on. The presentations then began and the winners where presented with both clothing and playing kit for their schools. The day then ended with big Eric organising a CWB v teachers match, which team Rwanda did not want to lose. CWB posted a huge 65-8 on a wet pitch that definitely did a bit. The teachers posted 51-15 in reply, falling 14 short. Meaning the teams training camp in Coventry was worth it.
The team then had the afternoon off but everybody decided that they wanted to visit a local special needs orphanage and spend an hour with them. For me this is one of the hardest parts of the trip but yet the most rewarding. The children smiles are infectious and a joy to be around. The caring nature between the children is amazing and something I have never really seen back home.
The day finished with a trip to a local market and a hunt for a working cash machine, which was a battle in itself let me tell you. The team then toasted the end of our time in Musanze, a trip to a region which had never seen cricket before. Over the week we have coached over 2500 children cricket while deliver vital HIV messages at the same time. We have also trained 28 new teachers to continue the legacy in the schools until our next visit.
The week has been a massive success and every member of the team has played a crucial part in that success. Three huge shoutouts though have to go to firstly our local coaches/ambassadors Eric and Landre who without them this week would not have been possible, translating for us exceptionally in schools that speak little English. Secondly, our coach driver Eddie who has driven us everywhere and anywhere we wanted at no matter time, again without this our work wouldn’t be possible. Finally our first time volunteers who have jumped straight in not holding back on anything, especially Lindsey and Louise who previously had no cricket knowledge but now will happily run sessions on their own after only a couple of days, showing that a CWB trip is for absolutely anybody and nobody should hold back!