The joy of playing sport

With us all gradually shifting our seating around to try to stay out of the sun as we ate breakfast at 8am, the signs were not good on for a respite from the Ugandan heat but as it turned out there was the odd cloud in the sky which was progress!   We didn’t have far to go as we started our day crossing the road to the oval which Asaba school is next to.

The kids all eagerly came across to see us once we’d arrived and we got underway with the army school joining later having marched from their school to come and play.   Decent commitment to cricket that, and they were soon assimilated into our two school session.

Having ensured that the kids were giggling early by incorporating dancing and various animal noises into the relays we got underway with our various stations.   Tom and I ran crossfire, where the kids get to throw down four sets of stumps and we incorporate a few health and gender myths that they can knock over.   All went well, although I spent a lot of time getting peppered by tennis balls as I tried to keep the wickets upright once they’d been knocked down, which was fun!

The highlight of the day was watching Pamela, teacher at Asaba, taking over from us at one stage.   Having come to the teacher training on Monday, it was a joy to see her putting into practice everything she’d been taught – she was fantastic and we can be sure that there’ll be some quality coaching and health messaging being passed on once we’ve gone.

The afternoon saw us split into two so that we could coach 4 different schools. My group arrived at Masindi Town Model in the afternoon where we were greeted by 300 odd kids in lines ready to go but then the teacher told us that 1/3rd would be sent back to class.   

We quickly put that right so that all the kids would play and got underway in an interesting environment….a mini cyclone engulfed some of the kids with litter (amid squeals of joy) and with a military base nearby, we played with mortars being fired into the sky overhead.

Rapid fire games were played across the playing area, with my group hitting into the kids toilets (standard!).   We had enough time to be able to sit down and discuss sexual health before coming back together as a group for Tom to give a final wrap up while standing on a bench.   A little over-enthusiastic as he signed for the “T” of Testing, he fell off the bench but managed to style it out….pity!

We met up very briefly with the other group who’d run a successful session at Kihande as they were soon dropped off at Family Spirit to play cricket there while we continued to Saint Theresa’s.

It was a lovely evening as the temperate dropped and the sun lowered.   After a bit of continuous cricket we stopped to think about the advantages of playing sport and the kids came up with some great answers.

Every session we run here is a reminder that sport means joy and the enthusiasm of the children is infectious.

A great day was rounded off with a couple of drinks in town before catching our hotel bar just before it closed, so we were sufficiently refueled for festival day.


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