The year kicked off with a first for CWB, a fundraiser in the Arctic! The Captain Scott's Arctic Challenge pitted the Oslo Aliens against the Captains Scott's XI on the 100 year anniversary of the legendary explorer's race to the South Pole. The game was all about inclusivity and enjoyment, and this chimed with CWBs values despite being in alien conditions. The Oslo Aliens have continued to support CWB throughout the year.
In marginally warmer climes, we held our training weekend at the stunning Belvoir Castle. As part of the partnership with the Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust (headed up by ex-first class cricketer Darren Bicknell), the trust sent a whole team to Uganda and also took us on a tour round the stunning castle. The training weekend was one of the best yet and we knew we had some fantastic volunteers to carry on the CWB work.
One of the most exciting moments of the year was when we were unveiled as the International Cricket Council (ICC) delivery partner for their 'THINKWISE' initiative. As key element of the ICC's Corporate Responsibility strategy, THINKWISE is all about combatting HIV/AIDS through the game of cricket, with an obvious correlation to the work CWB does. It was fantastic to be recognised in this way and opens up many exciting opportunities in the coming years.
In the thick of the Spring projects, Kenya emerged as one of the success stories with a successful partnership with Mysa (Mathare Youth Sports Association) and another trip to the Maasai.
In the same month Kenya cricket co-ordinator and the creator of the now world famous 'Maasai Cricket Warriors' Aliya Bauer was given the honour of being the ICC volunteer of the year.
Ex England A star Darren Bicknell and other coaches from the Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust continued the great work in Uganda in their spring trip. The trip, notable for the fantastic photos of Phil O'Brien, was a great way to showcase the relationship between the two charities.
As the English summer was in full flow (i.e. raining) the spring projects were all back in the UK, all of which were fantastic ambassadors for CWB and progressed the charity enormously. Read More>>
As the spring trips returned there was more excitement to come, as it was announced that Cameroon would be CWB fifth regular country, with an exploratory trip with experienced CWB volunteers heading out in the Autumn. Read More>>
June saw the strengthening of the HIV/AIDS team with the appointment of Will McClaren-Clark as Head of HIV/AIDS and Amardeep Singh (a lead practicioner in HIV/AIDS in the UK) as the charities specialist. This will ensure that the CWB message is constantly updated to be appropriate and also form partnerships within country to ensure that message gets to as many people as possible.
Another first for CWB this month as Richard Davies, Lee Booth and trustee Ed Williams departed for the previously war ravaged Northern Uganda. The project aimed to reunite the area and also help tackle the legacy problems, such as child soldiers, through the spreading of the game of cricket. In a three week project, funded by UK Sport and the ICC, our intrepid coaches worked for the first time in Gulu, Lira and Arua.
As Britain embraced the Olympics, it was time for CWB take to stock before another CWB first, sending out teams to five countries in an Autumn project. Here are trustee Ed Williams thoughts on the year so far.
Another excellent (and now crowded) training weekend took place in September, with Coventry the location this time. As usual it was a mix of team building, information gathering and coaching but this year featuring a five way intra country tournament, won by the 'invicibles' Rwanda.
A week after the training weekend, the first project went out to Uganda. Following in the footsteps of Lee and Rich in July, this was the first full project to visit Northern Uganda.
The media interested in CWB was heightened this Autumn with the BBC accompanying CWB trips to Rwanda and Kenya. Journalist Phil Mackie produced a program that will be aired on Christmas Day on five live. The Kenya trip, featuring England's ladies star Holly Colvin, also a produced a significant first for CWB as there was testing at a cricket tournament for the first time. The trip also saw CWB play the famous Maasai Cricket Warriors, as they coached in the fabulous Maasai.
After all the build up, the inaugural trip to Cameroon came and went in November, with experienced CWB coached taking to the new country with gusto. From appearances on National TV to coaching 100 of kids in a field, the trip was the usual mix of chaos and smiles, but illustrated that the Cameroon Cricket authorities were committed to the development of the game and as a tool for social development.
1st December is a key date in the CWB calendar, it being World AIDS Day. In our biggest campaign to date we supported the Terence Higgins Trust 'get tested' message, secured coverage in the Times and appeared in many cricketing publications.
The UNAIDS report released just before the day illustrated that there had been progress but there was still work to be done, and this message echoes the progress CWB have made this year. A lot has been achieved and some great strides forward, but there is still a hell of lot of work to do. Bring on 2013!
Follow us on twitter (@CWBafrica) or facebook (www.facebook.com/CWBafrica) for updates throughout 2013.