Monday, November 4, 2013

We have been gearing up this week to prepare some fantastic training sessions!

Week 5- We commence our regular coaching sessions programme


“GOLD, always believe in your soul. You’ve got the power to know, you’re indestructible, always believe in, because you are GOLD.” Gold- Spandau Ballet


Another week has flown by, it is strange how quickly the time passes and next week will be our half way point, it seems incredible to me to think that soon it will be November. Let’s be very British and discuss the weather for a moment, it is always so sunny and hot here that it feels as though summer simply never ended, the British volunteers were discussing this with the nationals and they warned us that winter is on its way, excited by the prospect of a change in weather we eagerly asked what to expect and the answer came “the temperature can drop as low as 30°”! So, no need to pull out our scarves and hats just yet, although I am strangely looking forward to going home and wearing layers, there is something so reassuring about having to put on 4 layers before you leave the house.

            Moving on to our progress this week, well, the Paralympic Committee has appointed a new ‘National Technical Director’, Mr Farma Celestin, who amongst other things will be responsible for liaising with our team and overseeing our work. We welcomed him to his post and discussed a number of ideas, one being the need for our team to conduct visits to affiliated clubs in and outside of Ouaga; they were visited previously by the last ‘Research Team’. These follow-up visits are designed to communicate the progress of the report that is being compiled by the current ‘Research Team’ which the clubs contributed to and to inform them of the work we are doing in coaching and awareness raising.

            On the subject of coaching, this week saw the beginning of our regular programme of coaching sessions. We worked on Thursday evening and during the weekend to deliver sessions in wheelchair basketball to HSB and ABUSHIS and we conducted a session on football for the deaf with ASSB. All the sessions take place in public spaces and it was nice to see the level of attention and interest generated by members of the public and particularly children when they saw the sessions taking place. By the end of the 2 hours we often had crowds of people who had stopped to watch and were cheering on the athletes, groaning with them when they missed a goal and even slyly taking part in some of the stamina building exercises. On Sunday the football coaching was delivered by Denis and Roland and Andrew actually took part, when he returned home he simply said “it was tough”. Zahra, Nicté and I were present at the basketball sessions and merely took the part of chief cheerleaders so perhaps our team needs some stamina building too.

            I am also pleased to report that Zahra and I have nearly completed all of our raising awareness and disability rights talks. This week we have focused on those presentations that are designed for an adult audience and we only have a few pieces of research left to do before we can do the final check and hopefully next week we can begin to pursue some schools and clubs and arrange to deliver them. The presentations cannot be finalised before our 4 case studies are completed and yet again I can report that progress has been made, both Andrew and Nicté have conducted their interviews so they simply need to be typed up and Zahra and Denis will hopefully have the opportunity to meet their selected athletes during next week. In short, everything is coming together, things in Burkina may happen slowly but they do happen eventually, or so everyone keeps telling me.

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