Whilst being students at Bournemouth University we have possessed a wonderful experience, full of unforgettable memories. We all feel like our sport knowledge and skills have been well utilized. We feel rewarded for the work that we have done to this little world. There’s nothing more self-fulfilling than making a difference and changing someone’s life forever. Our sport development mission in Tanzania is complete, however, no one feels like leaving!?!?
We are here to tell you about the opportunity we received as students through Bournemouth University this summer to travel to Africa as a team and develop our global citizenship whilst helping those less fortunate through the power of sport. This is an experience, an adventure, and both a shared and personal journey. A big thank you must go to Viper10, our kit partner, who provided the us with amazing coaching kit and sportBU who work closely with Camps International to provide us with this life changing opportunity.
The places you go are different to what you normally visit. The time you spend here will provide you with an unforgettable memory that will stay with you for many years.
Life in Camp
Staying in Fish Eagle Point with your fellow SDX campers will be enjoyable. Each aspect of camp life adds something to enrich your expedition; from staying inside a tent with a buddy, to getting delicious local cuisine prepared daily by the dedicated staff members. Our favourite aspect of camp life is the breath taking view. Each day you will wake up to clear blue sea accompanied by sand beneath your feet.
Breath taking Ocean view
Beach rugby on sand beach
It is beyond anything you’d ever expect from the most remote part of Africa. With the minicamp shop providing some home comforts (including cold beer).
During our stay we worked at the local school called Boma primary school. Upon arrival we were greeted by an overwhelming amount of excited school children for whom many had not seen a Mzungu (white person) before.
Many of the younger children sung the Tanzania welcome song to us as we arrived which was a nice touch. The head teacher was eager to reintroduce sports to the school curriculum and as a result excited to work alongside more established and experienced sports coaches.
After watching the football and netball teams play to help us gain a better understanding of their needs and ability we would soon be coaching. Following this the physical work began with creating the pitches which included various manual tasks including making the goals and marking the pitches.
Further to this, theory lessons were introduced to ensure all the students were aware of international rules, to help compliment there technical and physical ability. In addition a new sport of volleyball was introduced midway through the expedition as a result of significant development in the initial sports.
As news soon spread of our involvement and impact we have had on the local school, two neighbouring villages personally approached us to help with their football teams. Each village brings its own unique experience to learn from. The first village we arrived at was met with curious smiles and waves. It did not take long until we found ourselves on the pitch, preparing for a match. The local men live and breathe football and play an inter-village match every day.
It was an interesting experience after understanding that all the players were fisherman. It is a different lifestyle staying here seeing the!
Watching the football is a slightly different kettle of fish for the girls involved! As soon as you arrive there will be an army of ecstatic children waiting to clamber all over you on the side lines.
You will be put through your paces trying to entertain the rest of the village through dancing, singing, playing sports and having the chance to get to know the ins and outs of life in the village.
Football is a predominantly male sport within Tanzania and therefore it was intriguing for us as girls to delve into that cultural aspect. It can be tough at times when you’ve had a long day doing project work, but seeing those smiling faces at the end of the day makes it so worth it.
These are our days to come together as a group and enjoy what Tanzania has to offer. What is great about these times is that the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of activities. Such as, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and venturing to the nearby towns to spend nights out the African way. These were our periods in the trip after working hard for the kids throughout the weekdays to come together to celebrate and experience Africa. They can also be a chance to catch up on much deserved R and R on the beach topping up that tan or join the villagers to cook their local favourite dishes.
Coming to Boma Primary School has been the right decision for all of us. It began as a collective challenge; trying to understand the cultural differences, the language, and other barriers created further obstacles to overcome. To come to a village where they are kicking around a ball made of wrapped up trash bags is unlike anything we have seen.
Seeing this was enough for us to realize that we needed to come together to make a change. After the small amount of time, which felt like much more, we have achieved something here that we can all recognize and be proud of. Something that we can feel and see from those that we have helped over these past weeks.
We have given our time and effort to the children, but it feels as if we have received much more from them.
Personal quotes from the SDX
When I first signed up for this trip I was hoping for an experience of a life time and I am delighted to say I have achieved this. In coming to this area where the only challenge in life is survival and not just simply finding a film on Netflix for tonight’s entertainment back home in England. Here I am proud to say I have helped to improve the lives of many of the school children and helped a head teacher to reintroduce sport into their curriculum at Boma primary school so we can leave behind a SDX legacy. On a personal note I have gained many new experiences and feel as if I have grown as a person and in character in coming on this trip. This trip has left me with a huge sense of satisfaction that I have been able to be a part of the kidsÛª lives and help to make changes to both the school children and the local community. Further to this I have made many new friends and have many amazing memories to cherish for the rest of my life. (Adam Arthur)
Before this trip, I was understandably a bit apprehensive as I was heading into the unknown. However, combining unbelievably enthusiastic kids with sports equipment and knowledge is something that is so valuable to these kids. One of the most incredible parts of this trip is that all the kids are so grateful to anything we have to offer. This will be something that stays with me for manymany years. (Hugo McNeill Love)
I genuinely didn’t know what to expect from this trip and the fact I was in Africa really didn’t hit home until the first sight of Boma primary’s students and the joy they expressed as we were arriving into the village. I feel that our time was extremely appreciated by every single person in all the villages we were involved with. It makes you realize how lucky and privileged you are. I feel that this trip has helped me mature both as a person and as a sports coach and will help me improve my standard of coaching in the future. Along with this I made some incredible memories and gained some great friends through the expedition and feel like the school has benefitted a huge amount from our efforts which made the whole thing worthwhile. (Josh Green)
This was the first time I had ever experienced anything like this and therefore had no idea what to expect, but the first time you see the look on the student’s faces as you are driving through the village to the school really showed me how much our presence made a difference to them, even on the first day. Speaking to the kids and getting to know them really makes you appreciate everything you have at home, seeing the enthusiasm and excitement on the student’s faces when meeting us and playing sport, despite many not having any shoes and having to play barefoot! This expedition has really inspired me to continue coaching, and has been a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile experience. (Scott Wilkes)
Asante Sana! (Thank you)
Blog written by Tanzania SDX 2015