After our return to coaching on Saturday, Sunday presented a chance to continue CWB’s winning record in a match against the Northern Knights Cricket Academy.
The Academy was set up and funded from Durham CCC and the MCC’s work with CWB. It has given cricket in Gulu a magnificent ground to host games on and installed nets for the public to use. However, the grounds of the College not only hosted cricket, but there were also football, rugby and basketball games taking place. The atmosphere was unreal as kids played together and enjoyed themselves in a range of activities. Sport in Gulu is going strong!
We participated in two coaching sessions during the day, playing “Fastest Game in the World” and Pairs Cricket. We were impressed with the level of talent and skills on show particularly by three girls – Mercy, Michelle and Prista.
We met the girls earlier in the day whilst watching some NK players warm up. During that warm up, the girls were not allowed to bowl, restricted to just fielding for an hour. One of the NK players told coach Jamie that the girls “were not good enough to bowl to them”. Some quick intervention from coach Jamie and coach Clare gave the girls the opportunity to bowl to each other before continuing later in our afternoon sessions, where they became the coaches and demonstrated their knowledge.
This story highlighted one of the key messages of CWB – inclusion. Mercy, Michelle and Prista were given an equal and shared opportunity by our coaches and they flourished in the sessions. By running these projects, we get closer to equality and inclusion in cricket for all people.
Finally, we wrapped up the day with a tense T10 match against a team of local coaches, most of whom had been in a Coach education course with Lee and Grace hours earlier. Bragging rights the next morning were up for grabs!
Batting first CWB posted a competitive 62. Clare held the innings together with some mid wicket clips and ambassador Grace provided some firepower towards the end. Moment of the innings has to go to Jon, who as the non striker, completed an all ran 4 and a 2 to end the batting in style.
In reply, the CWB bowling and fielding was tight. Some earlier recruitment by Coach Tom saw local teenager Brian bowl a fantastic spell – someone with lots of potential in his action. Those that came on to bowl kept us ahead, pushing the asking rate of our opponents. Catches from Tim and Jon pushed ourself to the brink of victory although Tim did his best to lose the game, accidentally volleying the ball over the boundary and bowling a few wides in the last over.
Nevertheless, the CWB team came out victorious by 3 runs with coach Lee and ambassador Grace securing the bragging rights for the next morning of Coach Education. The match capped off an excellent day of cricket and sport that saw local kids given a superb opportunity to play sport with their friends and make new ones too.
Tomorrow, we have two schools in the morning before we wrap up Gulu and head to our final destination… Masindi!