After getting very sun burnt the day before, I started Day 3 in Gulu. The plan was to go to Gulu High School in the morning, Gulu Prison Primary in the afternoon and then to the University ground in the evening.
We arrived at the Gulu High School around 9 o‘clock. For the first time on the trip, I got a chance to meet the head master of a school along side Sarah. In the headmaster’s office, we saw the school had won loads of sports trophies which were placed on the top of the head master’s cabinet.
The headmaster was very keen to talk to us about his schools’ sporting achievements, including the trophies won by the “paraolymipic team”. He highlighted that the school had a well established special needs facilities, that included a sports section. He showed us around and we spoke to some of the kids. There was a room which had 6 computers all in uses by visually impaired kids who were taking the classes. One of the kids from them told us that he has played cricket before and is a fast bowler and is excited to join us for the game later.
The first session in the morning ran smoothly, me and the local coach Ivan ran a catching drill. For the Second session, 5 visually impaired kids and 1 kid using crutches joined us, all very eager to learn and play cricket. Me Sarah and Rita (our local ambassador) took these kids for the session and managed to coach them. This was my first time coaching disable children!!! The real challenge was the kit. We had no special kit only basics bat, ball, stumps and cones. So we had to improvise on the fly. After a quick warm up we set up some basic batting, bowling and catching games that they could play. We managed to get all the kids hitting the ball, catching the ball and bowling. The simple premise was to follow the sound of clapping and they managed to hit the stumps quite a few times.
Once the session had finished me, Sarah and the headmaster presented T shirts to all the disable kids who participated. It was an extremely rewarding experience to see so many kids participating for CWB coaching sessions, despite their disabilities.
After lunch, we headed to Gulu Prison Primary. Its a primary school next to a prison. After a fantastic start with some great relay races the rain hit suddenly and everyone ran for shelter. After distracting a few class rooms by dancing in the rain, we found a free classroom to set up our session. We squeezed over 100 kids, 2 teachers and 6 coaches in a normal size classroom. The room was bustling with energy and enthusiasm from kids, and we decided to use some HIV question cards to engage kids. However, in the rush to get out of the rain, me and my dad needed to entertain the kids whilst Sarah and Taruna searched for the myth cards. We tried different tactics that we have been using for past few days, but kids favourite was the hot clap that Rita taught me a few days ago! Soon after Sarah and Taruna got kids attention with quite an interesting discussion on gender equality! (More on this in the next blog….)
Finally the rain stopped after about half an hour, we inspected the field and it was a swamp with barely a few dry patches. We picked the biggest one and set up 2 massive stations for rapid fire cricket with 50 kids each. It quickly descended into organised chaos. Balls flying everywhere kids falling in muddy puddles and lots of screaming and fun. I shouted so much that I may lose my voice tomorrow! To our surprise, while we were all soaked, and struggling to find dry patches, other CWB team, who visited Sacred Heart Secondary School, which was hardly a few miles away, came back nice and dry.
After a very hectic day we made our way to the Gulu University ground. After Manny decided I was the best bowler in England I then took a bowling session along side Nick and Manny for the unviersity students. It was a lot more relaxed, we had 20 students, all willing and eager to learn and be coached. I thought after two 20 minutes coaching sessions, there was a huge improvement in their bowling with several balls hitting the stumps.
All in all, a fantastic day with loads of rewarding moments as well as alot of fun from both the kids and the team!!
Written by: Tom Munson (First time CWB Volunteer)