Firstly, apologies for not keeping up to date the internet in the hotel is very hit and miss
5 Head to the roon
An early start at Heathrow for the beginning of our adventure to Cameroon. The day’s itinerary read: Check in, Fly to Brussels, Transfer to Yaounde, and Meet the Cameroon Cricket Federation president then head to the hotel. Simple right? It began at the heathrow check in desk with whether our kit bags were the right size to be normal of oversized luggage. After plenty of back and forth we got it sorted and headed through for breakfast. On a virtually empty flight to Brussels it was chance to catch up on a little bit of lost sleep. Upon arriving in Brussels an ice breaker and to get to know everyone better we had a good ol’ chat over a cold Belgian beer, “When in Brussels” as one project leader once said. Too much relaxing nearly cost us as almost simultaneously we all looked at the time and over the PA system heard “last call Yaounde”… A quick sprint saw us to our gate where we managed to board our plane with a few minutes to spare. Touching down in Cameroon we were all very tired – then the anxious wait for all our luggage to come through. After some time it finally did and we met Victor the President of the CCF. To top it off though as we are leaving departures Victor points out to our right is the one and only Roger Milla. We all shook his hands and he greeted us all. He may have been meeting other people but for us; he was our welcoming party! So far everyone we have met has made us feel very welcome and for that we are thankful and now can’t wait to get started!
5 become 25
Another early start saw us go to the Mevick Bilingual Grammar school in Yaounde. This week is Youth Week in Cameroon so the students are out of the classroom and are playing games, dancing to music. Today’s objective was to educate the local PE and sport teachers of other schools to then take the game of cricket alongside the HIV/AIDS awareness back to their schools. Throughout the day more teachers arrived to learn cricket, and by the end we had coached 25 teachers. They now knew: warm up games, batting skills, bowling skills, fielding drills and 3 types of cricket games. After the session we headed back to our hotel to prepare ourselves for the “Monday Show” to be televised on national Cameroon TV with an estimated viewing of 7 million people.
Essentially this was the One Show, although Alex Jones was replaced with Auntie Rose the show’s host. Before even arriving at the television studios we experienced a masterclass in how to get across rush hour Yaounde in under 10 minutes. This feat was something no rollercoaster park could ever replicate. We were rushed into a television studio alongside nearly 200 young school children. The show itself was interesting to say the least, guests included a doctor who spoke 7 languages, our very own Carl Ferguson, but the guest who stole the show was the Cameroon “pop” star with the questionable singing and dancing. After this eye opening experience it was back to the hotel for dinner. Over dinner we really got a chance to talk to Victor, the Cameroon Cricket Federation President, and how he managed to firstly bring Cameroon into the commonwealth and also his fascinating and inspiring story on bringing cricket to Cameroon. His tireless effort and passion for cricket for us as coaches was the inspiration for us to see what an affect cricket can bring to not just a school or a community but an entire country.