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Friday, 02 October 2020 12:38

Boarding a plane to chairing the board; my 10 years with CWB

Ten years ago, nearly to the day, I was setting off on my debut Cricket Without Boundaries trip to Rwanda. The world now is obviously very different, so I thought it was right to reflect on the changes in both CWB and me as an individual in those 10 years.

The first CWB trip was certainly life changing for me and had a sizable impact on the future of the charity. Four out of the eight volunteers remained heavily involved in the running of the charity, the irrepressible Lee Booth and myself remaining to this day. I went on the trip as I wanted to give something back through the game I loved and more selfishly, to experience something new and exciting. Ten years on, I have definitely ticked the latter box and hopefully ticked the former.

My enjoyment of the first trip ensured that I returned to England desperate to stay involved and wrote an email to the Trustee at the time essentially saying "I will do anything." As it turns out, that has proved pretty accurate as I have turned my hand to social media, evaluation, fundraising and most recently my first experience as a Trustee. I have also had a career change to the charity sector and the skills I have learnt through volunteering with CWB have been invaluable in building that career.

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I never thought, setting out ten years ago that I would experience the things I have. From being interviewed on national Cameroonian TV to playing against some of England's finest women cricketers (with the keyboardist from Keane as a team mate!) at the iconic Arundel cricket ground. However, the moments I will really savour are the honest conversations with the cricketers, coaches and community leaders from the countries I have visited. If I am honest, wisdom has mainly passed one way, I have learnt a huge amount about community, priorities and having fun.

CWB has also come a huge long way since 2010. We have really concentrated on amplifying the voices of coaches - we now have an African delivery board made up of our amazing ambassadors - and building partnerships. We have worked with some of the heavy hitters of the development world, including Right to Play and UNHCR. Evaluation is now built into everything we do and the integrated coaching model is unrecognisable from the coaching 10 years ago. All of this would not have been possible without the talent, passion and dedication of the CWB volunteers. It has been a pleasure to volunteer alongside these people and I have made friends for life.

In my current role as Chair of Trustees (which I still can't believe I am doing), I get a great oversight of our work and hope to continue to contribute by ensuring we are well governed, well funded and a good delivery partner. We will always believe that play is a fundamental right and is an incredibly powerful tool for development. Cricket, when done right, is a great way of getting active in an inclusive and equitable way. Covid-19 has brought our delivery momentarily to a stand still but has not shaken our enthusiasm for delivering inclusive, fun and engaging sessions. Personally, I can't wait to see what the next ten years bring and I would urge anyone to volunteer in things they are passionate about. You never know where it might lead you!

David Terrace
CWB Chair of Trustees

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