Mondays blog brought to you by the moustached marvel, Paul Frost.
I love Bamenda and Bamenda loves cricket. Each day that has passed our love of the place gets stronger and stronger. We all agree that the people are amazing and so welcoming.
In the morning we visited GBHS Government Bilingual High School. As we waited for the principle to arrive, our “sensible” project leader, Lee couldn’t resist playing a forward defensive in the principles office. His second shot wasn’t as successful as he glanced one under a desk hitting a member of staff in the leg, an average innings was brought to and end.
We met with the principal and vice principal to introduce the team while providing an overview of the great work CWB and the CCF strives to achieve.
The principal was clearly impressed and following his thanks and support he summoned the Chief of Sports and Education to begin to plan more coaching sessions for the week. We left the school feeling happy with a sense of fulfilment knowing that we would now coach 16 classes in the next 2 days. We extended our invitation for the school to join the festival which will be an inter school competition on Friday morning which we all looked forward too.
As we said goodbye to the Chief of Sports and Education he said that their school will be playing to win on Friday and looked forward to the following days ahead.
Patrick then suggested we visit the Ministry of Secondary Education, Regional Delegation for the North West. A short bus journey later we met Mrs Mokom, the Sub Director of Secondary Education, she introduced us to Alfred Wirsiy, the Chief of Sports. Following our meeting and more support, Mr Wirsiy led us to the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education Regional Delegation, North West to meet the Regional Delegate Mr Achu Lawrence Achiri.
Mr Achiri was very thankful for our presence in Cameroon and warmly welcomed us having heard the great work the team can deliver. He said he would give the team his full support and also stated that cricket could be introduced to the school in time. He said that to mix sport with delivering important health messages would be a useful tool to raise the awareness of HIV/AIDS.
It was fantastic to see the ethos of CWB being described to influential people with little cricket knowledge in the North West region, a place where cricket has had little exposure. The beauty was they understood and wanted to get on board. It was great to hear how keen the North West is to work in partnership with the Cameroon Cricket Federation. Furthermore the delegates were impressed to see the representatives from the National team.
Lee and Patrick led the discussions on behalf of team Roon which was a delight to witness and if I’m honest it was a learning curve for me. To see how so few can make such an impact in such a short space of time was amazing and I was proud to be a small part of that.
Throughout the morning it was also great to see the National Teams representatives emerge and speak with passion and direction. Sunjo Sly is a young man that has a wise head and a keeness to develop both his cricket and his countries. Sanjo will be interview by local media during the week and will feature in a local magazine to promote the game and the health messages that can be delivered via sport.
We are also luckily enough to have James Callaghan in the team. James is the Cameroon captain and has represented his country for 7 years. It’s clear to see that James loves cricket and I hope he will be a key part for the development of the feature of cricket in Cameroon. I have enjoyed working with James and hope that this trip has been a learning experience for both him and the team.
To receive such positive responses throughout the morning from such destingisted people was great to witness and I now hope that the Cameroon Cricket Federation can work closely with the North West Region to build on what the team has started.
A quick and slow stop for lunch at the 3 payment bakery was needed. The food is really delicious but to pay for your food you have to pay for the bread in one place, a sandwich at another and the coffee somewhere else… Lee might say it’s slightly frustration.
In the afternoon the team was divided into two. A second visit to the Longla comprehensive school (LCC) was well received by 100 kids and a first visit for PSS School where the team were met by 250 enthusiastic children.
Time moves quickly in Cameroon which is a reminder of how busy we have been during our short stay. One thing for sure is that as our love for Bamenda grows so does the numbers of coached children continues to rise and the team can be proud of the work achieved so far.
Much later that day Mr Rex was sent into town for an important mission. While he was away 3 members of CWB were left in charge of the hotel. Manuel scenes took place. Mission completed.