Week 2 of Sam Dudman Jones’s blog whilst doing volunteer rugby coaching in Swaziland.
My second week started as usual with Monday morning spent planning entire week. This involved booking coaching sessions at different schools and organising the Swaziland national team trials for a test match against Botswana. Had a full week planned by the afternoon so set off to different schools to collect money for the Swaziland national schools league. One thing I would say is that in every school you visit (which will be loads) all of the children and teachers will be amazed to see you. An example being the crowds of children that will greet you from the moment you get out your car or the fact that some teachers will approach you to ask you to be in a photo with them. Takes some getting used to but for me makes the whole experience even better.
In total we visited seven different schools this week for coaching sessions. This time Wilson and Matthew allowed me to lead them more. All of the children singing and dancing throughout which was great to see. At the High schools we visited most of the students English is excellent meaning you don’t need to worry about a language barrier and meant myself and Wilson could set up a tag tournament. We joined teams with the teachers and ended up being beaten at least 30 – 10 by an all-girls team in the final (a very hard loss to swallow indeed!)
To finish off another great week the national team trials took place on Saturday. Michael had chosen me to be one of the team coaches and as a forward I was given the task of putting the players through their paces with bag work, scrum and lineout practise and tackling drills. What a privilege! Ended the session with a match for which I was referee, followed by a meeting with the other coaches to pick our team. All I’m going to say is bring on Botswana!
This week has taught me loads about SKRUM and allowed me to give you the following advice if you are thinking of coming out here. Please don’t if you’re not up for a laugh because if there’s one thing the SKRUM team do best it’s having fun.
(Volunteer Vacations has volunteer rugby coaching placements in Swaziland. 28 days costs £1,600 and price includes airport/coach stop transfers, accommodation at Sondzelas Backpackers Lodge set within Mlilwane National Park, all meals, Level 1 rugby coaching course and certificate, transport to placements, sim card. Extra weeks £200. For more information, see http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk or telephone us on 01483 331551 or 07833 208 158 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org)