Myself and Wilson were busy organising a coaching session in Mbabane on Monday. However, instead of going to every school, the plan was to arrange for all the schools to congregate at a central venue and then each coach take their own group.
We had 3 primary schools from 11 to 1 and then 2 high schools from 2 to 4. However, before any of this took place, we had arranged to take one of the schools assemblies in the morning. This was my favourite experience with the SKRUM programme so far. We had the entire school jumping up and down singing “Pass the Ball Not the Virus,” as if they were at Glastonbury or Reading festival!
This school had previously said they would be unable to attend the coaching sessions we had arranged later that day, but after they had seen how much fun the children had had in our assembly near enough the entire school showed up to take part. The heat made the day exhausting but me and Rachel still took part in all the usual drills and then played in the High school tag rugby game at the very end of the day.
We also gave the usual HIV/AIDS talk at the end of the High school session. When asking the kids some of the usual questions such as “How do you contract HIV?,” and “What are some ways of preventing yourself from getting HIV/AIDS?,” I was amazed with some of the answers. One boy genuinely thought that by shaking someone’s hand with HIV he could contract it! and I’m not even going to discuss the answers they gave for contracting HIV/AIDS through sexual intercourse. What this really did highlight for me was the struggle that Swaziland is facing, as none of these kids are taught any of this at school or by their parents. All I could think was, thank god for SKRUM!
The rest of the week was spent painting ‘Siphos’ at two new schools and running a couple of other coaching sessions. However this Friday was the King of Swaziland’s birthday and it was therefore a national bank holiday. Rachel and I took this as a perfect excuse to check out the main club in Swaziland called ‘House on Fire’ which happens to be just down the road form SKRUM HQ! Great night and a perfect finish to another brilliant week with SKRUM!
(Volunteer Vacations have volunteer rugby coaching placements in Swaziland with Skrum. A 28-day placement costs £1,600 and this price includes local airport/coach stop transfers, accommodation at Sondzelas Backpackers Lodge set within Mlilwane National Park, all food, transport to coaching, sim card, Skrum coaching kit, Level 1 rugby coaching course. Additional weeks £200. For more information, see http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 07833 208 158