By Amanda MacKenzie:
I have been at the Swaziland Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (SOCGA) for 3 months now. I have been able to attend many kids workshops that they call Positive Play Days (PPDs).
The first one I attended was called the Mbabane 2015 Child Health Day. It took place at the Prince of Wales field, which is right near downtown Mbabane. I was given the position to lead one of the stations. I was in charge of the tyre pull and the other stations included: obstacle course, handball, woodball and target throwing. In just a couple hours we had shown 1200 children different sports. These children had come from all many rural areas of Swaziland and this was their first time doing an organized sporting event for many of them.
What I found incredible about this day was that we used sport to teach children messages about how to properly take care of their health. We taught lessons about covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, washing after playing outside, washing your hands before eating, and brushing your teeth in the morning and evening. What I loved most about this day was that it is indescribable feeling when you see a child smile when they finally achieve what they working for or even when they were just playing around with their friends. You know that these PPDs allow children to have a couple hours out of their day to not worry about anything else, just to have fun.
I never really considered working in grassroots sports before coming to Swaziland. However, these PPDs have shown me the benefits of using sport to improve lives and teach values. I now have become passionate about this topic and want to continue to pursue doing events such as this.