Week 4 of Sam Dudman Jones’s blog in Swaziland as a volunteer rugby coach.
I’ve done a month! This week we had been given the important job of coaching the U19’s for a tournament organised next week. Trials were being held for different clubs all week, except for one team that we were struggling to organise a venue for. Matthew, Wilson and myself therefore decided to hit the road a search for a pitch which we eventually found. This meant that the next day was fully booked up with 3 ‘Siphos’ to paint; three coaching sessions at schools and then trials for the U19 Rhino’s team. What a day! One of the schools was also the 400th that SKRUM has visited. It was obvious that the teachers were very proud of this statistic and were overjoyed to see our car arrive. Every child involved in each coaching session loved every second making them my favourite sessions to date.
The trials followed. We all decided that we would throw all the players into the deep end and make them play a match straight away. My God could these boys tackle! The level of contact meant that myself and Wilson couldn’t resist joining in. Great fun, and brilliant to play a full contact game of rugby again (I also sent Matthew flying.) However I did get a bit caught out with the heat which was a blistering 39 degrees.
Linda and Michael had then been kind enough to organise a trip up to Kruger National Park in South Africa as it was both me and Michael’s birthday on that weekend. This meant that we left the team on Wednesday and arrived in the park early Thursday morning. Nearly as soon as we entered the park we had already seen elephants, giraffe and even wild dogs! Over the next couple of days we also spotted buffalo, rhino and a pride of lion’s right by the side of the road. This caught us out big time though as we spent ages watching them. This resulted in us getting back to our camp way past the closing time which also had the most almighty storm right above it. The lightening was like watching a light show and the rain was so heavy I even took a shower in it!
Couldn’t have asked for a better setting on my birthday. On safari, in Kruger, in the heart of Southern Africa (with a fair bit of drink!)
Volunteer Vacations have rugby coaching placements in Swaziland. £1,600 for 28 days. Extension weeks at £200 per week. Price includes airport/coach stop transfers, accommodation at Sondzelas Backpackers Lodge, all food, transport to placements, Level 1 rugby coaching certificate, sim card. For more details see http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk or send us an email on email@example.com. Tel: 01483 331551; 07833 208 158