MANAGING NUMBERS

A slightly earlier morning saw us arrive at a familiar field ready for our first session where the children were eagerly awaiting us. The group were very enthusiastic but their knowledge of ABCT was limited. Our team had learnt from a tough session yesterday and modified some of the games to suit younger children in larger groups. The skills circuit was a huge success, and it will be interesting to see if Eric’s coaching of whistling while bowling delivers a generation of Rwandan bowlers who must whistle upon delivery!

The field was full of smiles, chants of “ABC, CWB” and some very questionable dancing. It seems the Rwandan population have far more rhythm than the majority of our team. The feeling back on the bus was very positive as we made our way to the local health centre. We met with some nurses to discuss the local situation concerning HIV and its testing.

Our second session commenced with a stream of secondary school girls strolling on to the field. The final count was 500+ girls. Phil did a sterling job on the introduction, calling himself Sidney Philip John Lesley Etherington Green and asking the kids to repeat it back to him to much laughter. Then we got going.

Due to the large numbers, each CWB coach was tasked with entertaining a group of 50 students alone for 90 minutes. With a shortage of kit, rocks and bits of rubbish were used to mark out playing areas whilst one very lucky group appeared to have sneaked most of the cones! We also got the chance to discuss sex, HIV awareness and gender equality with our groups of interested teenage girls, pointing out the health centre we’d visited earlier was just behind their school.

Although there was a little trepidation about the sheer numbers in our final session, particularly amongst the least experienced coaches, it proved a triumph. The session was hugely rewarding with the girls proving a real understanding of the ABCT message by the end. The sense of fulfillment, getting our messaging across effectively to such a large group in one go was second to none. All in all a fantastic session which saw many of our team coach independently for the first time, and love doing so. Bring on tomorrow.

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