Cricket coaches offered chance to work in Africa

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Picture: Thinkstock - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A cricket charity that takes important health messages into some of the poorest communities in Africa is targeting coaches in Devon to join its next round of recruits, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Cricket Without Boundaries is a charity set up in 2005 to promote cricket in sub-Saharan Africa and promote health issues associated with AIDS and HIV.

The charity used cricket the sport as a tool for social development in poor countries such as Botswana, Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda.

Cricket Without Boundaries has started the recruitment process for its next trips to Africa, planned for 2019.

Two trips are planned, one in the spring and the other in the autumn. Each trip lasts for a fortnight.

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Devon has a strong tradition of supporting Cricket Without Boundaries, starting with Scott Chappell, who went to Kenya in 2011.

Chappell’s party introduced around 3,000 kids to cricket in 28 school or orphanages and gave instruction to more than 100 local coaches.

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Chappell, who plays for Kentisbeare, was a community coach with the Devon Cricket Board based in Ashburton at the time. These days he is the youth development manager at Somerset CCC.

Chappell said it was the experience of a lifetime and one he would recommend to any coach.

“It was an incredible experience and one that changes your outlook on lots of things,” said Chappell.

“It is the most enjoyable coaching you will ever do.”

The late David Gidney, a former captain of Chulmleigh and Mid-Devon CC, went out to Cameroon in 2015.

Gideny used his skills as a coach, coach trainer and youth league administrator to good effect during his two-week placement.

Coaches visited schools and orphanages and spread the word about cricket, no easy task as large parts of the country are French-speaking.

Clubs in Devon raised around £2,000 in 2015 to send Gidney to Cameroon.

The third cricket coach from Devon to take part in a Cricket Without Boundaries trip was Andy Baylis from Exeter.Baylis, a freelance coach working with clubs, school and the Chance2Shine project in Exeter, joined Cricket Without Boundaries for the Botswana trip in 2016.

Baylis returned saying he had been ‘rewarded’ and ‘challenged’ by his experiences in Botswana.

Full details about the charity, its aims and how to join one of the trips to African can be found on their website

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