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.
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.
Cricket Without Boundaries will be one of four charities supported by Crabtree Junior School in Harpenden, Hertfordshire this year after being made aware of CWB by Mrs Renier who visited Northern Uganda with the charity in the Spring.
Mrs Renier said "After returning from Uganda I was amazed at the impact that CWB had with the children we worked with and wanted to continue supporting the charity as much as possible. Ian Patrick the head teacher has been incredibly supportive and I hope that our school will be able to help future projects out in Africa. I also think it will encourage my children to think about themselves as members of a world wide community for which we all have responsibilities.
Luke Sellers reports on Day Nine from Uganda.
There are many things from our time in Kilembe that will live long in the memory; the breath-taking scenery, the insatiable appetite for cricket and the warmth of the people.
But above all of these it is the stories of two very special women in particular that will leave the most enduring imprint on myself and the rest of the team.
First time volunteer Marissa Rundle, blogs from Rwanda about the relationship between women, sport and HIV/Aids.
At first it was difficult to see the link between coaching cricket and HIV/Aids education. How wrong was I. A few days ago we visited Fawe Girls Secondary College (Kigali). After a massive downfall of rain we braved the large puddles and roaming cows to play some cricket. It was their first introduction to the game and within a few hours of coaching we could see great potential for the Rwandan women's squad. They loved it.
A superb allround performance from BBC reporter Phil Mackie wasn't quite enough to prevent a Cricket Without Boundaries XI falling to a five run defeat to an England Women's XI at Arundel.
The newshound – famed for his heart-rending CWB documentary recorded in Rwanda and Kenya last year– took three wickets, a run out and finished on 36 not out as the charity just failed to reach their target of 128 in a close-fought encounter.
One of the things that most CWB volunteers experience is the inevitable obsession with Africa and the countries that they visited.
In the case of our long serving volunteer Veronika Reeves this obsession produced her debut novel Wrapped in a blue kikohi.
Long time volunteer and social media guru David Terrace reflects on what proved to be another successful training weekend for CWB.
After a superb day losing (marginally) to England Women at a picturesque Arundel, the CWB team thought that things could not get much better at the Autumn 2013 Training Day in Brighton. They were wrong; they did.
The picturesque Arundel Castle Cricket Ground will play host to a Twenty20 match between CWB celebrity XI and an ECB Women’s select XI, on Friday 13th September.
The match will see current and future England stars take on a CWB team to include former Notts player Darren Bicknell, radio 5 live's Phil Mackie, Keane's Tim Rice Oxley and former England Captain Clare Connor.
When we were first setting up CWB in 2004, we were reliant on the goodwill of people we had never met, and their belief that CWB was more than a flash in the pan.
Our first steps into Kenya were made through the Foreign Office and a link to Adrian Radcliffe who is involved with the Nomads, a cricket club which, amongst other things, plays charity matches in the Rift Valley in Kenya to raise money for local good causes.
Cricket Without Boundaries are pleased to announce that members of the team will be appearing live in the studio on Sky Sports programme Cricket AM on 27th July.
The popular cricket show, now in its eighth season, is filmed live on Saturday mornings from 8.30-10.30am.
Gary is a 34 year old Insolvency Practitioner who, on a day-to-day basis, works with investors/management of businesses in financial distress. Gary admits that whilst being a lifelong cricket fanatic his skill levels have sadly never quite matched his enthusiasm for the game! Gary played for a village side for a number of years as an average leg spinner and useful tail-end blocker, but these days is generally limited to one or two guest appearances each year.
Cricket Without Boundaries will be showcasing the unique way it uses cricket to deliver HIV/AIDS awareness messages at the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2013 which is scheduled to be held from 6 to 23 June in Birmingham, Cardiff and The Oval.
Volunteers from the charity will deliver coaching sessions to local schoolchildren at the Oval on 5 June and then again at Cardiff Wales Stadium on 8 June, with the first match of the tournament, between India and South Africa is scheduled for 6 June in Cardiff.
As the Premier League football season closes, attention (in the UK at least) turns to cricket for the next few months with England playing New Zealand and Australia in Test matches this summer, along with the ICC Champions trophy.
So with cricket enjoying the media spotlight, it is as a good a time as ever to update you with what CWB has been up to for the first part of this year.