Autumn 2014 saw Cricket Without Boundaries deliver a record six projects across five countries, coaching more than 30,000 children and training around 200 coaches.
With HIV testing tents at festivals in Uganda, establishing links with a research project in Cameroon and our Ambassadors helping us reach record numbers, it has been an incredible last few months.
December 1st, World AIDS day is an annual chance to reflect and showcase the work that goes into fighting this terrible disease and focus on how we can do more.
As this years theme is 'Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation,’ we want to reflect on the partnerships we have built in order to help achieve an AIDS-free generation.
In a few days time CWB will be entering its 10th year. It seems only yesterday that myself, Andy and Chris were sitting around a kitchen table talking about how we were going to coach cricket from Cairo to Cape Town.
One of the questions we asked, apart from will the trip even work, was whether we should we set up a Charity to do that? Chris looked into that and the decision was made to apply for Charity status. So 3 volunteers set up a charity, oblivious to what it really involved. But I guess sometimes that’s what you need in life a great idea and a why not attitude. There are just so many reasons not to do things in life. So we took a risk, gave up our jobs and set off from the Nursery Gates at Lords in October 2015 with a variety of plastic cricket sets, our passports and a copy of the Rough Guide to Africa.
The ABC-T message is our method of integrating HIV awareness messages into our cricket coaching. The T is for testing – a key element in fighting the spread of HIV and living positively with HIV.
Testing is also a core element of cricket, for instance asking for a guard to test your set up or testing technique new skill at the end of a coaching session. Normalising testing in a cricket environment, where children can immediately see the benefits and often enjoy the testing process, helps to break down the stigma that prevents many young Africans from getting an HIV test.
I have been back from Kenya for over a week now and I have only just stopped having 'CWB dreams'.
It is as though my brain was still trying to process all the magical, mind-blowing and moving things we encountered.
From the 4000 smiling children we coached, to meeting Massai Warriors and stopping for elephants on the way to 'work', it was an unforgettable fortnight.
Cricket Without Boundaries volunteer Olly Ralph has been named the ECB Young Coach of the Year for the South West.
The 23-year-old from Bristol picked up the award for his work with Gloucestershire’s county and district teams and in local schools.
Olly – who works for bowling machine manufacturers BOLA - visited Uganda with CWB in February and he says the experience has had a hugely positive impact on him both as a person and as a coach.
For the International Day of the Girl Child 2014, 28 Too Many and Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) are pleased to announce a ground breaking project in Kenya using sport to bring communities together, empower girls and encourage the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Next February Cricket Without Boundaries are sending a specialist team of volunteers to Kenya to deliver a bespoke project around Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The CWB team are joining forces with FGM charity ‘28 Too Many’ and the ‘Maasai Cricket Warriors’, aiming to up-skill teachers by providing advice on how to support girls who are fearful of FGM or have been subjected to the practice, as well as providing support to girls who have been or are likely to subjected to the practice.
10 years ago, we were in full swing of setting up CWB around our day jobs. It was a unique experience and something out of the ordinary happened almost every day.