First full day of visiting schools on the trip saw us split into two teams. One team of experienced volunteers headed off to train 20 teachers on the festival field. The 2nd group being lead by Karl had the 3 newbies and Julie. We headed off to St Edwards primary and upon arrival were greeted off of the bus by one hundred very excited kids.
My first experience of organising very excitably large group of young kids was at first a little overwelming but I quickly adapted along with the rest of the group and we got down to coaching. We had some seriously talented kids playing especially when it came to hitting the ball. One kid managed to smash Dan onto the roof of the toilets.
We ended the session by talking to all the children about HIV and it was very eye opening to gear how they didnt think it was ok to play cricket with other children who have HIV. We sent them on their way back to class with a better understanding and they seemed to understand it was OK.
After a little lunch and some well needed hydration (Ferg is very passionate about this) we headed off to our 2nd school. On arrival we had a massive playing cricket area and were told we would have 100 kids so easy you would think. We were greeted on session 1 by approx 120 children and then on session 2 over 200. We adapted well and got on with coaching. I took the batting drill and was amazed by the talented children some had never picked up a bat before but it didn’t show as they smashed it miles. In session 2 we had all the really young kids come to watch but we weren’t going to allow this they had to be able to join in. They loved every second of the relays we put on whilst the older kids got to play rapid fire. Another fantastic summary from Karl and some great photos with the kids and we were on our way to our final destination for the day.
We visited St Teresa secondary which is an all girl boarding school. I cannot tell you how amazed I was to see a field full of young girls playing sport. I cannot imagine I would see this amount of girls playing sport in 30 schools in the UK. Again some amazingly talented kids who just wanted to listen and learn. Myself,Dan and Tom (The newbies) took a session of rapid fire followed by some catching practice. Dan was hitting the ball as high as possible into the air and these girls were plucking some great catches. Tom was talking to a group and was getting great feedback from them, he was in his element and so passionate about it.
It was also really good to work with the older children who had a different level of knowledge around HIV and other issues and it provided us with our first real chance to get out the whiteboards and dive deep into some meaningful conversations.
We were helped back to the bus by a group of girls who wouldn’t let us carry any of the bags which was very helpful as I was struggling to move by this point.
An amazing first proper day of coaching and one that I will remember forever. A great team we have on this trip who all add something different but also some great friendships being made.
Time for bed I’m knackered!!!