Maputo Rugby Club drives an innovative & collaborative coaching week in Mozambique
Johanna Waide, Maputo
Beginning with an early meet-and-greet at G4S Mozambique’s head office on the Pride’s first day in Maputo, ten passionate coaches from the Maputo Rugby Club (MRC) joined forces with BPF to deliver a locally made-to-measure week of community coaching.
MRC Club President, Alex Marques, and Director, Henrique Caleia, prepared an innovative coaching schedule, enabling BPF’s programme to continue to reach more children in a country where rugby is largely unknown. MRC coaches partnered with Pride members to run sessions in both the mornings and afternoons at primary and secondary schools, as well as at pitches used by groups of children from Maputo’s townships, including Mafalala.
With RiA 2017 nearing its halfway point, Pride members embraced the change of rhythm to the daily coaching agenda, and found it rewarding to introduce many local children to rugby.
A highlight for Pride member Lewis was when a boy from Edoardo Mondlane – where MRC coach Jamie is a teacher – stayed behind after his first ever rugby training session for extra help on learning how to pass backwards. After some one-on-one time with him, Lewis had to leave, but on his way out noticed the boy continue practicing his new skills with one of the local coaches.
Pride members Olie, Tim and Sofia maximised the opportunity to empower and up-skill local coaches, running two progressive ‘coach the coaches’ sessions at the MRC home ground, Parque dos Continuadores.
Reflecting on the sessions, MRC coach Davide Sigauque shared:
“The Pride coaches have given us the tools to bring more people to rugby. We’ve learned to refine the drills and games we run for the children – especially for ones who haven’t seen a rugby ball before. I wish we had this type of support and input with us all year.”
For Euridice Vicente, Human Resources Manager and G4S Country Programme Leader for BPF’s Mozambique program, the driving role of MRC was essential to ensuring this year’s project was a success. Euridice shared:
“Maputo Rugby Club helped us join forces with more children than ever before and, together, we have continued to nurture valuable relationships with local schools and teachers.
I’ve been involved with Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s program since it started here in Mozambique in 2015, and a favourite moment for me is always tournament day. I love seeing all children from across the city come together and, this year, we also had a record number of G4S employees come to the pitch to see all of our hard work on show – which is a great win for me!”
Maputo was an ‘enorme’ week for Pride member Sofia, who took on the additional role of official BPF translator, speaking with all key stakeholders in her native tongue Portuguese – the official language of Mozambique. This included hosting the awards ceremony on tournament day, where six trophies were presented to teams that had demonstrated key G4S values.
Maputo coaching week in numbers
- Number of participating schools: 11 (Esc. Pri. Unidade 22, Esc. Pri. Unidade 23, Esc. Sec. Edu. Monoplane, Esc. Sec. Francisco Manyanga, Maxaquene, Esc. Sec. Rosina Machel, Hulene, ADDP, Esc. Pri. Chiango, Esc. Pri. Costa do Sol, Esc. Pri. Kongulote)
- Number of children coached: 350 (200 on tournament day)
- Boys / girls: 60 / 40
- Number of participating local coaches: 10
- Number of participating local coaches awarded a BPF buddy coach certificate: 10
Sofia also collaborated with Pride member Sebastian to deliver the G4S Mozambique ‘Community Leadership and Value Building Workshop.’ Between them, they ran two shorter sessions, meaning more G4S employees could learn from their hands-on activities.
For the first time, Pride members were fortunate to stay at Jacaranda Guesthouse, right in the heart of Maputo. The central location meant the team was able to spend down time exploring the city, including its Portuguese history – which featured sampling espressos and pastels de nata (Portuguese custard tarts).