Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lots to say about week 2

Lots to say about week 2

So this week we’ve managed to get the ball rolling. We have planned out the remainder of our time here and have started taking part in various activities and meetings. Here’s the low down on our week.

Who’s going to be the next Nadal ??

On a hot Wednesday afternoon we had our first wheelchair tennis training session with Moïse (the wheelchair tennis coach) which we all thoroughly enjoyed. All the international volunteers and two of the national volunteers Cedric and Tankoano had a crack at it. Whilst we volunteers struggled to move a meter to get to a bouncing ball, Moïse would effortlessly glide across the court to reach our misplaced shots and accurately return them right back to where we were seated. The sport itself is incredibly enjoyable and very rewarding when a strong return was made, probably more a result of luck than skill however. It was definitely harder than it looked testing our fitness and hand eye co-ordination.

     Wheelchair tennis is played on a regular tennis court but the only difference is the wheelchair player gets two bounces of a ball before it has to be hit, instead of one. It wasn’t until after the session that we discovered it was supposed to be us taking a session for him, so next time we meet we’ll make sure that we’ve stockpiled a series of drills and activities that will hopefully challenge his undeniable talent. We can’t wait to return next Wednesday and play again
. Anna and Tom.

Anna and Tom

Abbie and Kat

Tennis coach Moíse

Back to School!
So as I mentioned in the beginning of the blog, this week we have made lots of progress. One of the things we’ve been doing is having meetings with various schools to discuss the sports and awareness sessions we’ll be teaching. Here’s some info on the schools and how the team felt about visiting them.


On Wednesday, the inclusive sport development team went to Cefise school to present the new cohort of volunteers and look round the school’s various facilities. CEFISE – Benaja is a local private school for children with hearing impairments; it’s a leisurely stroll from our house (Maison Cefise) so it will hardly be a strain to get there in the early mornings to indulge in some sport. We were given a small tour and were introduced to a few of its teachers. The tour involved being shown around the individual classrooms, audiology and behavioural therapy departments as well as the play area in which we will conduct our sport sessions. One of the teachers we met was Pastor Rafael, who also carries out all hearing examinations for children looking to join the school. Although only spoke minimal English he struck me as a man of extremely high intellect. We also met the principal who was in charge of communications, and a teacher (Mr. Ouedraogo), everyone was extremely welcoming. A meeting with the Head teacher, Madame Kafandou, was the final stop of our tour. She is a kind and dynamic woman whose powerful personality, strong presence and contagious laugh made everyone in the room feel at home and smile along with her.  We can’t wait to begin. 
Tom and Kabré

On Thursday we were picked up and taken straight to ABPAM, a school for visually impaired children. As we entered I noticed that the courtyard / play area was larger than that at CEFISE and I’ve already started planning the activities that we can host there. I believe that the work here will be challenging as most games that I’m used to doing back home usually require vision, however I am looking forward to embracing this challenge. We met the principle for a short but sweet meeting, through which I mainly just sat and smiled until Cat was able to translate. Our work within such schools will be challenging in different ways and I feel we will grow a lot stronger as a team whilst working with them.

 Lycée Montaigne
Lycée Montaigne is a secondary school here in Ouagadougou. Some of the pupils from ABPAM graduate to this school, so they work for inclusive education. Our lessons here will revolve around raising awareness about people with disabilities and the lack of inclusivity that they currently face. The school was really interesting. There was something more disciplined about this school that made me think that the pupils here have the potential to become high achievers; hopefully this means they will respond well to our sessions here. We were told that we would be teaching classes of up to 60 children. This is a challenge I’m ready to take on. Bring it on Lycée Montaigne!!

So that’s been our week! Lots of meetings, activities, meeting new people and most of all lots of FUN. Peace out!!

HSB Sports Inclusive Team

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