On behalf of UK charity Cricket Without Boundaries, our band of adventurous cricket coaches and volunteers is making a two-week trip in October 2009 to Botswana, in order to promote positive awareness of HIV/Aids, while coaching cricket to enthusiastic youngsters in the country along the way. We will relish the varied and interesting challenges ahead of us both on and off the field as our adventure unfolds, and we'll include here on our blog contributions and images from each member of our hardy bunch in warts-and-all episodes throughout the trip.
There'll be something for everyone - tears, laughter, fun, gastric complaints - and that's just on malaria day. We are based in and around Gaborone, Botswana's capital, for the first week of our trip, before venturing further afield into more rural areas of this beautiful country during the second. Our collective aim is to share positive messages about HIV/Aids issues (Botswana has a huge HIV prevalence of around 24%) with the many different people that we hope to encounter in the areas that we'll visit.
Our project in Botswana is part of an extensive programme organised and delivered by Cricket Without Boundaries, and this includes similar HIV/Aids awareness cricket coaching trips to Kenya and Rwanda too, with like-minded volunteers all with an equal sense of wanderlust - find out more on our website: www.cricketwithoutboundaries.com
Cricket Without Boundaries is a UK-based charity dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket. It is also about personal empowerment, both for adults and for children. The charity uses the sport to help develop personal skills ranging from basic teamwork to self-discipline and leadership.
September 26th 2010
CWB Botswana 2010 For all of you who subscribed last year, CWB Botswana 2010 is less then a month away. This year's blog can be found at :- Subscribe now before you are subscribed ! Here's Will's initial ( i.e. subject to major change) plan. CWB RETURN TO BOTSWANA 2010 We are now planning into the final stages of planning our return to Botswana, in conjunction with the BCA, ICC and in particular with guidance from Girish Ramakrishna (CEO- Botswana Cricket Association). We will arrive in Gaborone on Sunday 17th October and return to UK on Saturday 30th October after a two week visit. Our aim this year is to return to Botswana and continue what we started last year. We will be coaching in government schools and training local teachers to be cricket coaches. ... read more
November 30th 2009
World Aids Day - CWB Botswana Postscript A month ago we returned from sunny Botswana - and it feels like it hasn’t stopped raining since ! Tuesday 1st December is 2009 World Aids Day so we thought it appropriate to record a few thoughts. The CWB BotsWanabees re-assembled at the Meerkat’s burrow to chat about the experience and attend the world premiere of the all the video footage that was shot during the trip. Well nearly all of us - regrettably Mikey G could not escape from darkest Dorset for evening. However he was present in his larger than life form on the big screen where his uncanny ability to ‘sense’ when the camera was on him was noted by all ! Mike and Veronika have been busy selecting and editing our own footage and assembling ... read more
November 1st 2009
Not really a view from the kitchen tonight, more a view from a sofa in Thakeham. Having returned home this morning I thought I'd close out a few loose ends from CWB Botswana 2009. Final Numbers Tally After a few recounts and checking of spoilt ballot papers, as returning officer for Botswana, I declare the results as follows:- Number of child sessions conducted - 1311 Number of coaches trained - 57 Mini World Cup As reported by Ravi, in comments to previous blogs, the semi-final between Botswana and India was won after midnight by Botswana aftter rain del;ays through the evening. On Friday night with Pakistan well in control, the game against Zimbabwe was abandoned due to rain. However in the hastily arranged 15 over aside rematch on Saturday afternoon Zimbabwe were victorious and an hour ... read more
November 1st 2009
As the Cricket Without Boundaries project in Botswana draws to a close, it's a great chance to reflect on the fortnight that we, as a group of intrepid cricket coaching volunteers from the UK, have experienced in this wonderful land. Despite the underlying sadness due to the high prevalence here of HIV/Aids and the obvious suffering that this causes among many families, hopes are high that in the future the HIV virus can be successfully managed and that the many children that we encountered on our short visit will be able to enjoy a positive future. Without exception the children that we coached were incredibly friendly, fun-loving, curious and very willing to give cricket a go (some had never played before). It was enormously surprising to all of us just how well-co-ordinated and naturally talened all ... read more
October 30th 2009
Cricket Without Brackendene Our final morning as a complete team began with team photos on the balcony of the Brackendene Lodge - our ‘Home Away from Home’ for the past couple of weeks. Tomorrow the party splits during the day as we head to different flights home or holiday extensions to the trip. Photos complete, we loaded the Combi for the last time and headed down to Ramotswa for a second journey into the unknown. Yesterday started looking like a washout and ended with vast numbers of children spread across the Magopane Hill School field playing cricket. So what could we expect today? Good news was that all the teachers who turned up on the first day returned on the second. So by applying ‘continuous assessment’ we were able to satisfy ourselves that they were up ... read more
October 29th 2009
The view from the kitchen tonight is through weary eyes propped open with match sticks. The pace out here is beginning to tell.... However the good news is that with today's mass turn out at Magopane Hill in Ramotswa, well over 900 kids have been coached by CWB in the last couple of weeks. In addition another batch of 18 coaches may complete their training tomorrow. On the Mini World Cup front - the generator was fixed by by mid afternoon. The semi final between Botswana and India duly started on time under lights. However persistent drizzle and storms all round the ground brought the players off early in the second innings. as we left the ground, there was 15 minutes to go before the match would have to be abandoned- which would have severe impact ... read more
October 29th 2009
CRICKET WITHOUT TEACHERS Last night we were invited to dinner with the BCA. A wonderful time was had by all and shirts were exchanged ( not literally - actually it was!). The BCA were very generous in what CWB stands for and what has been achieved in the last week or so with taking cricket to the schools. Today we rocked up at Magopane Hill school and eagerly anticipated 15+ teachers to attend. After waiting one hour we had zero teachers. Then out of blue the teachers arrived on mass. MG started the coaching and the teachers were very receptive and competitive and really willing to get involved. The 2 V’s provided the teachers with some excellent AIDS awareness demonstrations related to some of the coaching skills that had just been learnt. We were then invited ... read more
October 29th 2009
Cricket Without Bulbs Hi everyone, it’s the Reeves duo. Just before we venture to the Wednesday happenings, let’s recap on the Tuesday evening. Watching the Zimbabwe - Sri Lanka game started like always with a few glasses of red and curry. The difference came when the lights went and didn’t come on. Even our technically skilled Mark had to admit that this time it’s the dead end. While the grounds man tried to fix it (no success), Mike, the commentator blamed it all on The Meerkat Electrics. However, before the failure he kept calling the far end as the ‘faulty generator end’ - could he have jinxed it? One of our trainee coaches from last week, Obert, became a lucky owner of the large cricket holdall that we brought with us. He had been a great ... read more
October 28th 2009
A very brief word from the kitchen tonight. Tonight we have been royally entertained by the BCA - consequently today's Blog, courtesy of the Hydration Minister and the Minister Without Porfolio (aka Reeves & Reeves) will appear tomorrow sometime. Running Totals Children sessions run today amounted to around 78 bring our running total to around 845. We also completed assessments on a further 18 coaches. Mini World Cup. Has struck technical diffilculties. Monday's 'quarter-final' between India and South Africa was abandoned following 4 floodlight failures during the first half of the game. A replay was planned for tonight. However the repairs (flushing the Generator set radiator) )proved inadequate and the lights again failed in the second quarter-final on Tuesday evening between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. With little remedial action obvious, your editor cro... read more
October 27th 2009
Tuesday October 27th Today was a bit like a “normal day at the office”. Departure was slightly delayed as Mike and Tony decided to have breakfast at the exact moment we were supposed to leave. So, we all patiently waited outside while the newly married couple (they make cups of tea for each other first thing in the morning. Awwww!!!) finished their second cup. After our daily pit stop for water (the married couple turned it into a military operation to prove that we don’t need to leave that early), we headed off to Notwane Primary School. It was a very busy and mind expanding morning for the teachers as we had to introduce 3 skills: front foot drive, pull shot and wicket keeping. At the end of the morning, one of them was assessed and ... read more