CRICKET: Grant's busy start in Uganda

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Grant Neven, right, leads a coaching session at Arua Girls Secondary

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Grant Neven, right, leads a coaching session at Arua Girls Secondary

First published in Sport

“AFTER a long journey, the Cricket Without Boundaries Uganda team arrived in Gulu.

But there was no respite for anyone with four schools visited on the first day.

That meant coaching for more than 400 children, who were also passed on the message of HIV/AIDS prevention.

It’s great to see the government here making giant strides in educating the children and fully supporting healthy living.

Some of the messages are pretty hard hitting, but clearly get the point across.

There was two more days there and then another long journey to Arua on roads that have convinced me never to complain about potholes in the UK again.

Once again, Uganda is proving to be both challenging and wonderful in equal measure.

Leading the team has been made easy by the fact that all the volunteers on the trip are willing to except that plan A at 10am will become plan F 10 minutes later.

The Ugandan people have bent over backwards to help and their hospitality is second to none.

In the last week, we have travelled more than 500 miles and trained up more than 30 new coaches from 25-plus schools.

These coaches will not only coach cricket but continue to use cricket to educate the children about HIV/AIDS and hopefully help to save many lives.

In excess of 1,000 children have been taught the basics of cricket and shown us a thing or two about playing on the most basic of pitches.

Festivals have been held and hopefully we will be leaving a lasting legacy.

A rest day will give us a chance to recharge the batteries before we begin another busy week.”

Cricket Without Boundaries has been making the news in Uganda, with the nation’s cricket association (UCA) praising the charity for their work developing the game in the north of the country.

“They are definitely helping the development of the game because their activities obviously increase the awareness of cricket because wherever they have gone they have attracted a lot of interest,” UCA chief administrator Martin Ondeko told New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily newspaper.

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