Lisa tells the Front Row Union how this years initiative is progressing:
“It’s going really well here in Africa, it’s been a rewarding experience so far as well as being an exciting trip.
“In Ethiopia we worked with kids and teachers who had never even seen a rugby ball – 5 days later we held an intra school touch rugby tournament that some of the teachers were able to referee alongside us.
“We’ve used this model throughout Africa and the kids love the competition element and knowing they are working towards taking part in a tournament.
“In Uganda we split up the coaching team and worked across 3 schools. At the end of the week we held an inter school competition – the matches were fiercely competed with all the kids (and coaches) wanting their school to be the best rugby school in town. The scores were tied between 2 schools going into the final girls’ match and I was delighted when the girls that I had coached came out victorious and sealed an overall win for their school.
“In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the kids we coached from Mapanbano Primary took part in a tournament against the international school of Taganika and the French school and were easily as good as the opponents they faced. It is really satisfying as a coach to watch the kids making steady improvement during the week and to see the smiles on their faces when they score tries or make a nice series of passes.
“We also teach the kids the values associated with rugby – discipline, respect, integrity, passion and solidarity – it is great to see these being displayed during the week. For example a young girl called Gift from Arusha in Tanzania showed great integrity during a game we were playing by confirming that she had put a foot in touch when the opposition called for turnover ball. Team selection for the Friday competitions always includes kids who might not be the best players but have taken the values on board and demonstrated them.
“We also work with a lot of great people in the local communities and from the local rugby unions.
“In Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Botswana we have been assisted by guest coaches from the national squads, male and female. This is a great boost to the programme and allows the kids to mix with people from similar backgrounds who are forging successful rugby careers. They act as role models and provide inspiration for the younger kids.
“In Malawi, Ethiopia and Botswana we have worked with reps from small NGOs and community groups – amazing people from the local community working hard to make it a better place for their neighbours and in the rugby hot bed of Rehoboth, Namibia we were overwhelmed by the interest from all the primary schools in the area and the hospitality we were shown. We introduced the game (non-contact version) to girls between 10 and 12 years old who had been pretty much excluded from rugby previously as it is perceived locally as an unsuitable game for girls. By the time we left excitement for the game amongst the girls was at fever pitch and we have made their teachers promise to start a touch or tag rugby inter-school league for them.
“Small steps but big achievements that need to be followed up next year by another group of ‘rugby missionaries’ as sky tv call us. We can’t afford to lose the momentum or interest that has been sparked in the places we’ve visited.”
If you feel you can make a difference through rugby then visit the BHUBESI PRIDE website or follow any of the links below.
Rugby in Africa | BHUBESI PRIDE | Expedition Rugby Coaching Team 2013
APPLICATION PROCESS OPEN FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
- Do you have a passion for rugby and possess the relevant skill sets and experience to add value to this unique coaching programme?
- Do you have a sense of adventure and are you willing to endure the mental and physical toughness of our 5-month mission through 10 African countries?
- Do you want to inspire both British and African schools and communities and build relationships with each other, the IRB and national rugby unions, through sharing your passion and important values of the sport?
If you’ve answered YES to all of the above, then you need to APPLY NOW for Bhubesi Pride’s 2013 Expedition Coaching Team
For more information on this year’s expedition, costs involved and how to apply for next year, simply click on the link above.
Know someone else who would be interested in this programme?… then PLEASE PASS THIS ON NOW!
[Rugby In Africa welcome male and female applicants, over the age of 18]