By: Raiven de Souza
Just when I thought my time at Brock University couldn’t get any better, they provided me the opportunity to be an intern with the Turks and Caicos Islands Rugby Football Union (TCIRFU). It has now been three weeks since I landed in Providenciales and I have loved every moment of it. Since Provo is smaller than my hometown St. Catharines, I was able to see pretty much the whole island on my first day.
I spent my first week going to schools and pitching rugby to principals and physical education teachers. During the week I run sessions at nine schools and on Saturday I help out with the youth program at Meridian Field. To some, Meridian Field is just another place to run around and play sports. But to those who know the Caribbean well, the field is spectacular. On an island that is so hot, TCIRFU has done a remarkable job getting the green grass to grow.
The Saturday youth program is my favourite day of coaching. If you have ever watched Kicking and Screaming, my Saturday group reminds me of the Tigers. Some of the kids look identical to the cast and have the same personalities. I’m even a fresh coach like Phil Weston . . . fingers crossed I don’t get hooked up on the coffee scheme. Many of these kids also play hockey on Saturdays so when rugby is over I go to watch them play. It’s impossible for me to say no to a hockey game, especially in the Caribbean. On Thursday nights I play on a tag rugby team called Nuff Said. It surprised me how easy it was to pick up a sport I have never played. It even only took me one game to get my first try.
In Provo, Sunday is also known as ‘Funday’. This is my only day off in the week so I spend it exploring the island. Both Sunday’s so far I have had the privilege of going out on the boat and going to other islands off provo. Iguana island has definitely been my favourite! I have been to many countries in the Caribbean, but never have I seen water so blue. Overall, I have met so many great people in my first couple weeks and have seen so many unique places. I look forward to travelling to North Caicos to run a rugby session on that island next month. I am also very excited to be a part of a national event next month as TCIRFU is hosting the British Virgin Islands national rugby team.
Until next time,
Raiven de Souza