Our SDX team have been training and coaching sports in two of the local Schools in Tanzania.Just within two weeks alot has been achieved and this is what they had to share….
The trip can be summarized by every day’s journey to school through the villages, where everyone is happy to see us as they appreciate everything we can give them, even if it just a hand to hold.
The journey started with a trip to the local primary schools where we saw two things: the lack of facilities and the excitement in the children’s eyes. We knew we had to make a difference in their lives’ and this was solidified when we pumped up our only football and suddenly dozens of children came to play. The manual labor kicked in when we started building the netball, volleyball and football pitches at Mwahako.
Every day children ran over to help, two of them standing out in particular-Mwingi and Nazir. These children who had been in school all day, most likely on an empty stomach, volunteered to give up their break times to help the build. This was when we knew something special was happening and any doubt about the importance of our work was exasperated.
This week we started the coaching program, alternating days between schools. In the mornings we went into the classrooms to teach theory about football, netball and volleyball.
The kids were extremely keen to soak up the information and it was so rewarding to see them as excited about learning as we were about teaching. Their knowledge of both football and netball was remarkable and shows how far the influence of sport can travel. Volleyball was somewhat new to the children but their ability and perseverance to apply themselves was incredible to see and motivated us further.
The trip has also included special moments such as the opening of a new toilet block built by gapers replacing the set which had been there since the 1940s. Another example was the handing over of hundreds of pairs of Toms to the children (In the UK Toms donate a pair of shoes for every pair sold).
The simplicity of this touched the group as we realized how important a pair of shoes can be.
We now look forward to the next week where we will select and train our teams for the grand finale sports day. Hakuna Matata (No worries)
Words by Tom Dickinson, Rachel Horwood and Jasmine Ward