Our team of Sports Development Expedition (SDX) is having an amazing sports experience in Tsavo Camp; Committed to nurturing sports talent on local youth and train over 150 students in sports at Sasenyi school…
As a group of young travelers, visiting Kenya provides us with a unique opportunity to pass on our knowledge and understanding of sport to a local community in need of sporting facilities and coaching.
Across all languages and cultures, sport remains equally important as it brings a great sense of well being to the society. We have seen the positive impact that it brings amongst the young people we have been working with from Sport BU. We have been working with Sport BU for a number of years now and also encourage other independent travellers to join the team.
After our arrival at Camp Tsavo on Thursday evening, we set out the next day to briefly visit the Itinyi School, where we would return later on in the expedition. The first week, however, would be spent at another local school, the Sasenyi School, which, despite having vast spaces to play sport, lacked the apparatus such as goalposts, pitch lines, and volleyball nets to complement a school of students passionate to play sport.
After a fifty-minute coach journey every morning, filled with happy vibes, music, and waving at the local people as we drove past, we started digging to mark out the dimensions of the football pitch, before painting to form the necessary lines needed.
Afterwards, we worked together to dig and cement in goalposts, and then used the same formula for the netball and volleyball courts where we also have introduced netball posts and a volleyball net. After many hours of work, we finally managed to install the apparatus and we began coaching, using a limited vocabulary of Swahili, but enough to create a strong communication and bond with the students we were working with.
The community of children at the Sasenyi School is so warm and eager to interact, and therefore, since we have started to coach, the attitude has been very positive. Simple words we use in Swahili have often been repeated by the students as a way of showing that what we communicate is understood and sessions have generally flowed very positively.
Naturally given that there is a difference in culture and language, kids can look a little perplexed when they are ordered to ‘Kuja Hapa’ (Come over here!) in a rich Scottish accent, possessed proudly by Adam, one of all the superb coaches on the trip, yet, through the use of enthusiasm and positivity, the children have responded well to the sessions we have been offering.
Additionally, we have been able to teach sports theory to the students.
Before delivering sessions, we have used the classrooms of the Sasenyi School to introduce ourselves and explain the rules of football, netball, and volleyball, as well as drawing pitch diagrams so that the students can understand the various positions that are occupied in each sport. This has been an important part of the process because after we have explained positioning to the players, they have tended to be more organized and spatially aware in game situations and have been able to cooperate more as a team.
Now that we have begun to coach the students, we have started to identify talented players from the boys and girls groups who can be selected for the upcoming tournaments which will also involve the Marungu Secondary School who we have also coached briefly on the expedition.
Once the teams are completely finalized, the tournaments will be hosted to celebrate the success s of the program and to see the improvement made by the players throughout the time we have spent with them. As well as these tournaments, there will be a fun run event for each year group.
This provides a nice climax to our work at the school and certificates will be awarded to the winners as well as all the students who have taken part in the process.
We hope that one of the positive ramifications the project will be the long-term development of sport in the local community. Knowledge of football, netball, and volleyball can hopefully be passed on to future students and onto the wider society, hence improving the development of sport as a powerful tool in the community.
Blog written by Kenya SDX 2016