By Andrew Badeau:
Another month has flown by!
It has been a busy time here in Botswana. To start the month, the BNOC organized a Youth Sports Festival in Selebi-Phikwe for the weekend of June 10-12. Phikwe is a small mining community about 4 hours north of Gaborone. Some staff members and I travelled up to Phikwe on Friday morning. It was very cool to see all the beautiful landscape and scenery on the way to Phikwe. On the way, we stopped on the side of the road to purchase boiled corn, sweet root (similar to sugar cane), and a few other local delicacies. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the remaining staff members and spent the evening participating in team building exercises.
The team had an early rise on Saturday (June 11) and made our way to the ground to set up the festival. The event started with 5 km walk/run to warm up. After the run, the participants then took part in an aerobics class. The athletes were then organized by age group and placed into teams. There was roughly 10 different sports to compete in including wrestling, badminton, and rugby. The emphasis of this program was to teach children the importance of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and physical literacy. I was amazed how many people showed up for this festival. It was a lot of fun getting to participate in the sporting events. Although I did not stand a chance at the wrestling station. To cap off the weekend, the BNOC staff hosted a Braai barbeque. It was nice to get to know all the staff outside of an office setting. We spent the evening listening to local music and dancing. I will admit that my dance moves definitely need some work while I am here in Botswana.
Right after the sports festival I returned home to participate in the third coaching module for the Botswana Taekwondo Federation. In total, all nine of our instructors completed the program. It was amazing to see the progress that each coach has made so far through the BLTAD program. After attending this module, I learned a great deal about the sport of taekwondo and the importance of technique. We are looking to host the fourth and final coaching module in July. I look forward to being part of it!
Although I have been busy at work, I have managed to fit in some time to travel. This past weekend, my roommate and I travelled by bus to Jo’burg, South Africa to watch the Springboks Rugby squad face off against Ireland. The match took place at Ellis Park Stadium which is where the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final was hosted. What an incredible experienced it was. I have never been to a live rugby match before and I was lucky enough to witness a come from behind, last minute victory for the Springboks. I now consider myself an honorary Springboks fan.
Until next time,