Noddy has written up his recent trip to Uganda where he was coaching local children while raising awareness of AIDS – here’s his tale!
Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) is a UK cricket development and AIDS awareness charity. It is run almost entirely by the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers.
Since its formation in 2005 CWB has become one of the world’s leading Cricket Development and AIDS awareness charities. It is dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket. It is about personal empowerment, both for adults and for children.
Working primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa it has sent projects to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. In the process CWB has coached tens of thousands of children in some of the poorest communities in the world as well as training several thousand adults to become ICC qualified cricket coaches. CWB is committed to taking the game of cricket to a new generation of coaches and children in Africa, as well as supporting existing cricket development.
The charity has two main goals:
(i) To spread cricket through coaching children and teaching adults how to coach; and
(ii) Linking the sport to HIV/AIDS awareness and incorporating these messages into every day coaching sessions.
How and Why I chose to get Involved:
I have been playing cricket since I was ooh about 5 years old! And I still love playing it, despite the aches and pains I suffer! I have been contemplating getting into the coaching side of cricket for the past 6 months. Hitting the Big 40 also had a lot to do with it; not long to go now!!!!!
One of the first on the list was doing short term voluntary work which would involve me being completing out of my comfort zone abroad. The bonus of this opportunity was it involves kids, Uganda and cricket with other like-minded individuals…..what’s not to like I thought and filled in the applications forms and was thrilled to be firstly interviewed and then invited to be part of the Ugandan Team.
What was it like?
Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited. this year it celebrated 50 years of independence from Britain. Cricket is played in the bigger southern towns and cities of Kampala and Entebbe. Our trip was focusing the development of cricket in the northern towns of Lira, Gulu and Arua. The majority of sporting talent in Ugandan hails from the northern towns and the Uganda Cricket Association is keen to develop the sport in this region for this very reason.
The days were organised so we coached the teachers on the first day, going through the skills sets required for different aspects of the game (fielding, batting and bowling). The following day the teachers would arrive with the school children (approximately 16-20 children per school x 8-12 schools) and we would coach the children on different aspects of the sport. During these sessions the local teachers would be the coaches and we would support them to delivering the coaching to the children as well as promote the ABC (Abstain, Be Faithful, Condomise) HIV messages. The third day was competition time, where the different schools would compete against one another. The fourth day was either a rest day or we took the 5 hour coach journeys to the next town and repeated this.
For me my first experience of cricket coaching/volunteering was a great. I learned a lot from working alongside CWB’s coaches about tutoring in general and engaging the Ugandan teachers and children. It was of course working with the children that I enjoyed the most. They were all such fantastic athletes, polite and friendly, so keen to learn and using cricket to help them become more aware of the risk of HIV is really effective.
Since returning to the UK, I have signed up to complete the coaching courses in England (UKCC Level 1 and 2). I start these end of Jan 2013.
I would also definitely recommend others to volunteer with CWB you will have a great time.
Finally, I want to thank everyone for supporting me raise the necessary funds. Honestly I thought I would struggle to reach my target figure, but everyone’s generosity was so overwhelming.
See you on the cricket field or in a bar sometime very soon.
ps: those who want to read more about CWB and our work in Uganda, we all took turns to write a daily blog, and its here: