Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The big finale

Throughout the week we had been working towards this big day, the kids were excited for a day they had been looking forward to for months... this was going to be a unique day for them that they had never experienced before, a day where five schools they hadn't met before would join together and compete.

It was an early start but hearing the screams coming from the coaches from the University field when the coaches were down the road showed how excited they were and the early start was made worth while! Each school coming running off their coaches with great big grins, when seeing Bright future arriving we walked over to welcome them as the came running towards us chanting and meeting us with cuddles, with about twenty children all around you hugging you made you realise just how much we had brought to them!

When explaining the way the event was going to occur, we mentioned the toilet facilities which were provided for them, being porter loos instead of the usual hole in the ground all of a sudden they all needed the toilet and huge queues were lined next to every toilet!!

Each school presented a song at the start of the competition and the atmosphere was huge, amazing and so overwhelming!

Kicking into the competition side of things it went better than expected, I was umpiring rounders and with the schools only of had four weeks before we came, to learn the basic of the sport with little equipment and then four days with other on up skilling further the competition showed off the skills these kids had! They wernt just concentrating on getting one person out on each hit but as many as possible passing the ball around a number of times stomping the posts making a numbers number of kids out! The catching and throwing was amazing with little attempts that didn't catch the ball, and the hitting of the ball at some points when a lot further than expected... this really showed up the quality of some rounders games I've watched in coventry!

The enthusiasm and concentration showed how much they were enjoying themselves and how willing they were to make the competition to a high standard. With first aid organised and available for the day any incidents we persuaded to go over to gain aid, at one point a girl was hit in the eye by the rounders ball full on from the hit she picked the ball up throw it on to get the opposing player out and continued holding her eye in pain i ran over telling her to go to first aid with me, she replied with 'I'm fine i want play rounders' while she held her eye in pain, she had to be forced to first aid, this really showed how much these kids loved playing sport and being involved.

At the end of the morning the younger children's competition was over and the results were given with the winning team running around the field in joy as well as the other teams stood smiling and clapping thanking for the day they had experienced. This was now the time to say goodbye to the younger children i had worked with over the last four days, the children who felt like family after just so little time, the hugs and goodbyes were harder than we all could of imagined.

We picked ourselves back up and continued the day with the older children's competition, the whole day was amazing. At one point i looked up and looked around and saw hundreds of children playing sport, doing something they enjoyed so much, cheering and smiling and that was one of the best feelings i felt over the week, seeing what we had achieved for breath taking!

And then it was the goodbye to these children and to the teachers, handing over all the equipment and saying goodbye, the tears poured down although at the back of my mind i knew that although this was the hard goodbye, this wasn't the end, yet it was the start of the journey of sustaining this and giving these kids a better life to live, continuing the relationships and keeping them smiles on their faces!

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