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Tuesday, 04 August 2020 10:49

Meet Manny, CWB Ambassador

I am Emmanuel Isaneez, I’m 33 years of age. I am one of 3 children, I have Tony and Susan as my brother and sister, from the family of Mr. Francis Omongole. I come from Uganda in a small town called Jinja. Jinja is well known because its where you find the source of River Nile that goes up to Egypt.

At first I really enjoyed playing football. It wasn’t until my brother Tony, who had played mini cricket for our primary school, called me to throw some balls for him to hit. But I didn’t like it because it was boring! So, he gave me a chance to have a go at batting and that’s how I picked up an interest - after making him collect a few balls from far!

Interestingly, my brother stopped playing cricket to focus on music production. I’m still so happy he introduced me to cricket, because cricket has taken me places I would never go if it would not have been. I have played for the national team and been involved in coaching so the game has been friendly to me so far. 

In 2014 CWB had a trip to Uganda, a team led by Sally Johnston. They were due to travel to Jinja, Masindi and Kamuli, and I was called by UCA to give a coaching hand to the team which absolutely was a good idea for me to exercise my skills. I enjoyed my first CWB coaching session, particularly seeing how the tutor handled so many numbers of children easily. My favourite CWB moment is from that trip, when I was involved in a session that was for over 800 kids with 8 support coaches. The organization to get the session to run smoothly was so memorable. After the session the lead coach Jamie asked me was it hard or easy, I just had no answer! The following year Uganda Cricket Association invited a few of us to interview for the Ambassador role and UCA and CWB felt I had qualities they needed, and I was appointed as an Ambassador in 2015. 

Manny1

Since then, I have been playing cricket and working with Uganda Cricket Association as a CWB ambassador. Beyond cricket I want to develop communities because they have been responding positively to our programs and this lays a good platform to improve in so many areas. This simply means I have everything rotating around cricket!

I think Cricket Without Boundaries has scored so much success through our health sensitization, and the use of the ABCTS (Abstain, Be Faithful, Condom, Test and no Stigma) message during coaching - both the teachers and the children have benefited a lot from this action, and this has further contributed to the community. Also, we are starting to strengthen community participation even more by having cricket hubs in each town and region we work in, to enable community children and adults to converge and play. From there they can be sensitized or learn from each other, run more coaching sessions and promote club cricket. And the extra benefit is that that that will expose those who have a talent for cricket to great challenge and opportunity. 

When I am not running outreach sessions before and after the CWB projects my day to day weeks involve coaching in Kampala. I coach 3pm-5pm in schools that we have selected to develop cricket, I coach game awareness and cricket skills both to the teachers and the children. At the moment though, with COVID-19, we are having cricket development meetings on Zoom about how to expand the games further and also mentoring upcoming young coaches by sharing experiences in coaching through online discussions.

My dream as a CWB Ambassador is to leave a legacy behind of a positive impact towards the development of communities through coaching cricket and changing lives. I would also love have some children come through to the National Team from our initiative bringing the opportunity to play cricket at a high level to young people in the more remote districts, and for Cricket Without Boundaries to be remembered as one of the projects that played a bigger role in promoting cricket in Uganda and Africa at large.

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