After the evening of killer pool (dominated by Lee and Dave) and little taste of Ugandan gin, we were raring to go for our first full day of coaching, going to two schools in Kigali.

The first school, Ami des Enfants, had played cricket before and we were told that we would be coaching the cricket team and another class. This was true to an extent and there were some talented cricketers and some very enthusiastic youngsters. Jack ably led the batting drill, with 30 kids belting balls at running CWB coaches! Tim was back in his element coaching the bowling with Rich, Mike and Jono. The highlight of the day was Rich’s bowling demo, being egged on by the whole school to bowl a huge wide and then fall flat on his face much to the amusement of the CWB coaches!

After a quick drinks break for coaches and kids, three games were set up which were all very competitive and enthusiastically lead. Jack and Chew had the girls group who unfortunately were tired after two hours in the sun, apart from one girl who bowled a brutal 20 over spell from the top end. After the game finished Tim had a very informative chat with some of the older boys, who asked some very good questions about getting the AIDs percentage down in Africa and how it compared to the UK. It was great to see some engagement on AIDS and youngsters aware of the need to reduce it.

We then headed back to the apartment for a spot of lunch and a refresh before heading over to the second school in Nyandungu. Although the school had never played cricket before, we were greeted by a young lady called Katya in full whites and a Rwanda cricket top. She plays for the ladies team here in Rwanda and it was fantastic to see her helping the coaches to show the other children techniques. She looked a very talented player herself, scorching some textbook on drives in the pre match warm up.

The degree of knowledge of the school was shown by the Head of Sports bemusement at seeing the cricket bat and asking if it was the same as tennis! It is a testament to the coaching that by the end he was showing the kids the correct bowling technique and loving cricket! Once again all the coaches lead with enthusiasm and the session was only curtailed due to the heavens opening and turning the volleyball court into mud. We hope to return to both schools as the kids clearly enjoyed themselves and it would be great to move the coaching on to the next level and find some quality players for Rwandan cricket. Also, it must be said that all the coaches are getting the ABC message into the coaching and one of the older lads was heard saying ‘use your bat like a condom – protect yourself’, a great message.

After a long days coaching we returned to the apartments and ate locally at the Chinese notable for the ridiculous hot sauce that is customary to try on the noodles! An early night prepared us for the long trip to Butare in the south for hopefully another great day of coaching. – Dave Terrace
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