My last full week! This week all of the schools had broken up for Easter holidays. This meant that we had organised a load of community coaching sessions for the next two weeks. On Monday and Tuesday we had sessions and both were great fun. Personally I enjoy them much more than the school sessions for a number of reasons. Firstly all of the people who turn up are very eager to learn about the game of rugby; secondly people of all ages turn up from tiny 2 year olds all the way to the elders in the area. Lastly both sessions had a really family feel (due to the fact that entire extended families had turned up) making them really fun. We also did a lot of other drills at the sessions including defensive line alignment and evasive running. Both days ended in a tag rugby tournament with Rachel and I taking it in turns to referee and play. By far my favourite coaching days so far!
This Wednesday was also a really great day. I might have already mentioned in previous blogs that Wilson and Matthew (the other SKRUM coaches) play for the Swaziland rugby union champions called the Vondos. Since arriving I’ve been really keen on playing a game with them and finally we were able to organise one against their local rivals called the Titans. What a game! Despite being organised as a friendly there was an obvious tension for the duration of the game. I played at number 8 for the first half but unfortunately had to referee the second half. I will admit however that at one point I was completely flattened by one of the Titans players that we call the “Beast” (after the super 15 Sharks player) so if it looks like I’ve been in a fight in any of the pictures that go with this blog there’s your explanation. At the final whistle the Vondos ended up winning the game 20-10 and the entire day ended up being a real success!
This weekend was also my last weekend out here in Swaziland. This meant Wilson and Matthew had organised a leaving party for me and Rachel at Matthews place. Great laugh with more Swazi dancing and then a mini rugby game at midnight before hitting one of the local bars in Malkerns.
This Saturday national team training was on again and despite feeling really rough I ended up assisting with all of the drills and skills practised. I will say that the guys are really starting to understand the game a lot better. I am learning just as much from them as they are from me and I genuinely believe that they can do some damage against Botswana in June. Come Sunday, I was exhausted from such a full on week. Rachel and I therefore decided to take Michael and Linda out to a really nice local restaurant just up the road called Malandela’s as they really have looked out for us during our time here and have made the last two months so enjoyable (just as importantly though they do English pub food and draught beer!)
For more details on volunteer rugby coaching in Swaziland go to http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk or emai us on firstname.lastname@example.org. A 28-day placement costs £1,600 and this price includes airport/coach stop transfers, accommodation, food, transport to placements, local sim card, Skrum rugby coaching kit, Level 1 rugby coaching course.