1st - 15th October
Team Botswana visited Tonanta (40 minutes north of Francistown), and then ventured on to Maun. Tonanta and Maun were both new locations for Cricket Without Boundaries, and so the project had a strong emphasis on Coach Education, which is seen as critical to establishing cricket and the CWB method of delivering HIV health messages through the sport.
The Botswana project was characterized by searingly high temperatures that showed no sign of abating, regularly touching 40ºC by midday. Nevertheless the team performed admirably, using tag-team tactics to catch breathers in the shade while another team member took the lead, and incorporating plenty of breaks to allow the children to recover.
The team ran what amounted to three CWB Introduction to Cricket courses, covering a broad array of candidates. Trainee teachers in Tonanta, existing school teachers in Maun and then a more disparate group of college students, again in Maun. All told, the team delivered Coach Education to 75 candidates, who will hopefully form the core of the growth of cricket in these new areas, under the watchful eye of Botswana Cricket’s Clement.
School and orphanage sessions were not, however, overlooked. With a large team cricket sessions ran throughout the weeks. The team observed that HIV knowledge here was often better than many other countries CWB work in, testament to the quality of education in the country but also, perhaps, indicative of the extraordinarily high levels of infection in Botswana, where prevalence rates in 15-49 year olds is 24.8%. This often helped the team engage with students, particularly older secondary school students, to delve into the details such as how and why to use condoms correctly or, as the shout goes; “CONDOMISE!”.
Lee Booth – Project Leader