Monday, August 11, 2014

3, 2, 1 Boccia!!!

Bonjour, and welcome back to the Handicap Solidaire Burkina Inclusive Sport blog!

Week 3

Rise and shine everybody! The first day of the week was important for the team, as it gave us the opportunity to create a weekly plan in regards to what the team would be undertaking throughout the week, begin to research and discuss the various different sporting presentations that we were assigned to create and to organise a coaching clinic, for coaches within Ouagadougou.

The sports that were discussed last Friday during a meeting were – Boccia, handball and sitting volleyball. Kevin, Aston and Jack each had separable research tasks, to give them a better understanding of the different sports before adding information to their presentations. This needed to be completed by Friday 25th, in order for them to be reviewed, updated and translated into French, ready to be delivered next week.

Unfortunately, our weekly visit to Saaba was cancelled because some athletes were unable to attend the session. However this gave the team additional time to continue working on the different sporting presentations, also Jack, Kevin, Gerard and Aston planned and discussed a Boccia session for our Arche athletes.

On Wednesday, the team had a very productive day. Jack, Kevin, Gerard and Aston traveled to Arche and delivered a Boccia session. Whilst a member of the practical team wasn’t coaching, they were analysing and writing notes about individual athletes, the delivery of the session and strengths and areas for improvements, which would be discussed during our next planning phase.

Within the Office Chloé, Diélika and Emma, updated and made any corrections to the overall strategy plan for Handicap Solidaire Burkina. Jack made the final preparations, before delivering his “coaching clinic” for national coaches which entailed: the concept of planning before the delivery of a coaching session, the three main components of the coaching cycle that come before, during and after the coaching session and creating a session plan for an upcoming sporting session. This was the first time that the Paralympic team and HSB have delivered a lesson based on sport coaching, and coaches present gave extremely positive feedback, and overall they felt as if they had learned a variety of new aspects of session planning.

Finally, Saaba was cancelled yet again, however this time it was due to poor weather conditions. All was not lost this day as we were invited to a wheelchair taster session in the afternoon, which was very helpful in our development for working with athletes with disabilities, as it gave us the opportunity to have a go at playing a sport specifically for disabled people and also, identifying ways in which the coaching team could deliver their own sporting activities that benefit people with physical disabilities.

Week 4

Ramadan was over; today was the festival of Eid. The day was a national holiday in Burkina Faso, so we all had the day off work. We celebrated the Eid festivities with some of our neighbours; they very generously came round to our house with food and drink. We had a fun evening of music, bissap juice and fish and chips (Burkina style).

Tuesday - Half of the team had an early start; we set off for Saaba at 6.30. We were happy to find a really good amount of people had turned up, they were keen to get practice in before the big match tomorrow. We kicked off the morning with some target practice, using our shape-hole boards again, then we played some coordination games. One involved moving tennis balls from one cone to another while walking, in a kind of relay. Some people really struggled with using both hands, but there was improvement with every run so this was very good to see. Then we got down to the main training event of the morning: boccia! We played a few close games, there are some very talented throwers and everyone had a lot of fun. Back in the office Jack, Kevin and Aston had been getting on with their coaching and sports management presentations. We also set out plans for who would lead each of the weekly group discussions. These will be on global development issues, for example one week is on globalisation. It will be really interesting to discuss these topics to get the differing views and knowledge of the national and international volunteers.

Wednesday – Today was the day of the much anticipated ARCHE vs Saaba boccia match. The Paralympic and HSB teams got to Saaba around 7.30 to set up the ground. The teams arrived at 8. After an introduction from the association presidents and Boukary, we got going with a friendly (but still very competitive) match between Saaba A and Saaba B teams. Saaba B won 7-5, so got the chance to play in the final versus ARCHE. What a final it was, after Saaba stormed ahead to 10-5, ARCHE made an amazing come-back to bring the score to 12-12. It was all down to the last game. Everyone was excited, “allez les bleu”, “allez les rouge”. The victory was ARCHE’s (13-12), well deserved, but Saaba had put up a brilliant fight. Now midday, the athletes, coaches and the HSB teams sat and ate a well-deserved, riz gras together. After, everyone went their separate ways, knowing that Boccia had been officially introduced, through competition, in Burkina Faso for the first time; a great success!

Thursday- In the morning the education team went off again to Saaba. Lots of people came to the session, showing how much everyone enjoyed yesterday’s event. They delivered a similar session to Tuesday, and were able to just finish in time to miss the huge storm that continued though almost the entire day. The research team worked on writing up the report of yesterday’s event. Jack’s coaching clinic had to be cancelled, because the coaching were busy preparing for the national championships which are to be held next Saturday. Biba and Emma had a successful meeting with the director of sport at HSB, Pierre, talking through the situation of sport at HSB now, about his vision for the future and how the IS team can help.

Friday - Today all the team went to visit Groupe 2nd Espoir. This is a centre for the blind attached to a school for the blind, they specialise in teaching music, theatre and other arts but want us to introduce adapted sports there also. Today a large number of people weren't able to attend because they were sitting an exam in public services. However we were able to speak to the president and secretary; to introduce ourselves, find out more about the centre and talk through sports we could give sessions in. We agreed that we would start with goal ball, a game involving a ball with a bell inside and a goal. A person, who is blind folded, has to stop the ball entering the goal by only using their hearing. We plan to give a session in this and other specialised sports next week. Back at the HSB office we all were involved in a meeting with all the HSB athletes who will take part in the National Championships next weekend. We discussed their preparations and also the problems they face in terms of resources and training, problems which we hope as a team to help with.

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