DAY six of the Uganda team visit began with allowing the junior members of the team, Freddie, Samuel, Paul and somewhat middle-aged boy Nick a day off to recharge their batteries.
So the veterans carried the can onto the field of play at our latest venue in the lovely scenic surroundings of Jinja, two hours East of Kampala.
Before play began, Juma, one of our local coaches (captain of the Ugandan under-19s team) and I headed into a local school called the Victoria Nile as they were beginning to start a link-up with a school in the UK. We took some tennis balls and books to the joys of the screaming children and a rugby-style scrum ensued as we gave them away and so we had to throw balls this way and that in a desperate attempt to allow us to make an exit to the morning’s coaching.
After arriving at our new school for the day, Jinja Secondary School, we were almost ready to start the day when greeted by the sight of a large bull joining the outfield in a position that resembled silly point.
Much to the amusement of the local children and teachers, this delayed the start of the day by around an hour. After charging at a few children and missing, the bull finally decided to head for the shade so we could crack on with our day.
It’s fair to say the teachers were quite laid back here in Jinja, but we managed to train up another 27 for the days ahead and hope they come back to assist us over the weekend.
For the rest of the day, the team splintered off and saw the sights of the Nile, had radio interviews again before finally converging for a team meal and drinks in town.
It’s nice to be able to actually take in the surroundings and the chilled atmosphere gives the team some time to reflect on this amazing country.
With the team reunited after a successful day’s coaching, Dave, Nick and myself headed over to Victoria FM, where we were part of an hour-long phone-in.
We managed to get some more of our messages around cricket and HIV out to people in the Jinja region, although the main feedback from callers to the show was that we were not visiting their part of the district and they wanted their children to play, an encouraging sign for CWB for the future with the possibility of more projects.
We ended a good day with a game of killer darts at a bar, which turned into quite a vengeful game by the end with the competitiveness of everyone coming out for the first time.
Yours truly ended up as champion, although some of us may have lost a few points with the skipper after knocking him out first.
It rounded off a good day to begin our time in Jinja, with us all ready to get back to the coaching and hoping for a big turn out.