Coaching week reaches great heights in penultimate country for Rugby in Africa 2017
Johanna Waide, Walvis Bay
The Pride saw the generosity of the Walvis Bay community from the very start of the Namibia program, when they attended an orientation session at Atlantis Sports Club – a venue donated for the use of the meeting, as well as for some coaching sessions and tournament day the following week.
In partnership with employees from G4S Namibia, Pride members finalised plans for the busy coaching week ahead and briefed-in teachers from six primary schools – Narraville, Nara, Kuisebmond, Flamingo, Duinesig and Immanuel Ruiters.
Home for the Pride was Namibia’s adventure capital, Swakopmund, so a weekend of free time was quickly booked up. Joined by Donna van den Heever, G4S Namibia Program Leader for Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s Namibia expedition leg, the most fearless Pride members went skydiving – which involved a free-fall from 10,000 feet above the Namib Desert. There was also a chance to take to the desert slopes and go sand boarding down some the world’s tallest dunes, as well as spend time at the beach (see images at the end of this blog).
During coaching week, the Pride’s daily commute to Walvis Bay was a scenic drive along a road that cut between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. Pride member Lewis, who coached at Duinesig Primary, made the most of the local environment, and used the school’s sandy pitch to draw diagrams as a way of explaining exercises and touch rugby rules.
Pride member Floyd, from Scotland, who worked with almost 70 students at Immanuel Ruiters Primary for the week, said couldn’t wait to get started coaching as soon as he touched down in Namibia. Floyd shared:
“Week one was a brilliant experience – it met all of my expectations. The children were great to coach with because they really wanted to be there and wanted to learn more about rugby. After my experience with the Pride I want to work as a sports coach, so I learned so much that I’ll be able to put to use back in Scotland.”
On Wednesday, the Pride visited JJ’s Education Centre, a school for children with special needs. During a tour, Pride members met Happy, a 24-year-old student with cerebral palsy who lives full-time at a hostel within the centre. Happy recently received an orthopaedic bed thanks to G4S Namibia, a donation made as a part of their ongoing commitment to the school. The specialised bed has made a significant impact on Happy’s quality of life, as it means she can now sit up and interact with teachers and other students.
Kim Koch, Founder of JJ’s Education Centre, shared:
“We are fortunate to have been a beneficiary of G4S Namibia’s legacy project for the last two years. Before their support, our centre was falling down – G4S Namibia has helped us maintain the buildings and facilities, and build a garden.
We have 120 students aged from three to 25 who live with a range of disabilities and most are from very poor backgrounds. Through our centre, they receive the care, love and education they need, so it really means so much to us that G4S Namibia supports our centre to ensure we’re able to continue to make a difference in these children’s lives.”
Coaching week ended on a high when Jacques Burger – Namibian rugby legend, Pride Ambassador and Pride member for BPF’s 2017 Nairobi project leg in February – rejoined the Pride to help lead a values and coaching workshop for local sports teachers. To close the workshop, Jacques said:
“When it comes to rugby, every time you train or play a game, it’s an opportunity to better yourself. We’re a small country, but there’s a lot of talent in Namibia. It’s up to us as teachers and coaches to inspire the next generation to believe in themselves, and to show them that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything.”
Jacques and all the Pride members were then invited for a braai hosted by G4S Namibia, to celebrate the end of another successful BPF Namibia program.
For a recap of Jacques’ time with the Pride in Kenya, take a look at this inspiring video:
Despite being in an opposite time zone, the Pride’s eyes were also on New Zealand for the start of the highly anticipated British and Irish Lions 2017 Tour. Pride members woke up early to watch the games over breakfast, or got together in the evening for the highlights.
Feeling inspired? Apply for our next expedition today!
Bhubesi Pride Foundation is currently calling for applications for its 2018 expeditions, Rugby in Africa – which starts in January and finishes 5 months later in June – and Southern Africa Rugby Explorer, which continues through to mid September. Places are going fast and we’re almost full!
Whether you’re interested in joining for 3 weeks or 5 months of our expeditions, submit an application form today.
Fun in the sun in Swakopmund
Skydiving in Swakop…
Sandboarding the dunes…