Fifth day into the trip and the second cohort of teachers from the Masindi District are arriving for a morning of coach education with Greg, Issac and myself. The remainder of the team headed off to St Edward’s Primary School and Kabalega where Clare, Clive, Tony, Julie & SJ worked with 59 and 110 children respectively. There was quite an audience of littlies who SJ entertained with chants. It was lovely for the team to hear those chants ringing out of a classroom as they left.
Ready and waiting at 9am for the start of the coach education session it was clear to see that this was being governed by African time rather than GMT! In a wild flurry we eventually start with 20 teachers, many of whom are new to cricket and Greg quickly started getting them into shape!
The story that reflects the coach education CWB undertakes whilst here is that of Rita, from Family Spirit which is an orphanage a few miles outside of downtown Masindi. When meeting Rita initially in the morning she was lovely, however it was clear to see that she was lacking in confidence when it came to coaching cricket. Rita actively took part in the morning session, going about her business in a quiet yet concentrated manner, listening to the ABCT messaging and how this comes across in coaching points. And then the afternoon came about………
The afternoon session took us to Kilhande and Family Spirit for a session with approx 77 children. This was an opportunity for several of the coaches from the morning to observe ourselves delivering a session and then having a go themselves. Rita got paired with myself on the bowling station. It was clear to see that Rita instantly bonded with the children and they had enormous respect for her. She delivered it quite outstandingly. With confidence, connecting with others and embedding the ABCT messaging. It was a joy to see and a real highlight of my first week. Having never coached cricket before, there she was acting the part and being the part. Brilliant. The smile on here face afterwards said it all.
The lesson learnt here was that giving the opportunity for teachers to learn a new skill and practice this in an active scenario is absolutely key to their learning. And even more importantly, for CWB to leave a legacy of confident teachers with the ability to coach cricket whilst providing key ABCT messaging.
Following the afternoon session at Kihande and Family Spirit we headed off in two groups to Masindi Public and Masindi Town Model. My team were greeted with what can only be described as a fanfare welcome at Masindi Public. As soon as we got off the bus we were surrounded. Smiles and high fives all round. This was our first taste of a large number of children to coach in an hour session and we had had to get straight on with it. The 140 children were, let’s say, enthusiastic and it certainly tested our skills! At the end I was buzzing. We’d somehow pulled it off!
The other half of the team headed off to Masindi Town Model where they coached 143 really young children in difficult pitch conditions but this didn’t detract from the session delivery, which ran really well. This school had many inspirational messages displayed around the outer area, and the children again responded really well to the ABCT messages.
However, my final thought when we headed back to the hotel was the session Rita had delivered earlier that afternoon. GO RITA…….YOU ROCK!!!