The nickname we have given the school of ‘Madhouse’ is never more fitting than when during sports. It was a great challenge of teaching sport but an exciting adventure. The sport I taught with Sarah was Volleyball. The very first day was a challenge teaching the Class 1 and 2s who understood very little English so teaching the specific moves of ‘digging’ and ‘setting’ was perhaps beyond them. So instead we played some smaller more active and loose games such as flipping cones and relay races, before putting in a monster effort that proudly resulted in some being able to just about dig the ball by the end of the lesson.
As we went through the week we made the sessions slightly more challenging with more sport specific coaching being involved dependent on whether they would be able to get it. It is fair to say our sessions improved as the week too as we both felt more comfortable with coaching Volleyball. The older children who still hadn’t ever played the sport properly were able to learn the right moves with the correct technique very quickly. This was brilliant as it meant we were able to move on to game situations and everyone’s competitive nature quickly came out.
For me this was the week I realised how important Think Pacific is within Fiji. It has given me great pleasure to be a part of improving the lives and minds of the youth out here. Hopefully next week will show similar success as this one; I already cannot wait to move on to the next school with a whole new experience.
Nalawa Central Primary School
After a day spent chasing the Kindi kids back into the classroom, sport came as somewhat of a welcome ‘rest’. That idea was quickly removed when ‘rest’ soon became taking Class 1 for sport. The sun was out again which helped develop our already impressive vest and t-shirt tans.
On the Wednesday myself and Nick (mainly Nick) coached the rugby team as a warm up for a match they would play on Friday. We quickly found out that Fijian junior rugby is much more similar to English boxing than English rugby. There is still some pleasure in running rings around 12 year olds until you get flattened by three of them. The children throughout our time coaching sport were so positive and enthusiastic, sometimes this would go overboard, but their attitudes were fantastic.
When Friday came it was an exciting day as we played the Central’s local rivals of Nasau Primary School, the home of another Think Pacific team, at both Rugby and Netball. After coaching them throughout the week it was great to see the kids be able to channel their skills into a match. We were all very proud as the Netball team produced somewhat of a clinic, comfortably defeating the opposition. Rugby was a much closer affair. After taking the lead Central were one try down with a few minutes to go. With some major hits, and questionable positioning, Central were able to score at the death to force the draw. To see everyone together cheering on the kids, with TP on both sides, Friday was one of the most magical days so far!
Dobuilevu Muslim PrimarySchool
The sports coached this week were Volleyball, Rugby and Cricket.
With volleyball, a net was put up and Max and Ryan worked on getting the ball over the net and then into a rally. They did this by simply standing in front of the kids, throwing the ball, and the kids playing the ball back into their arms with as great accuracy as possible. It was essential to start basic due to the varying levels of proficiency. Luckily, with some good coaching by the end of the session everyone could easily clear the net, and small short rallies occurred.
With rugby, it truly depended on what age Jack and Lauren were given. The older ones showed a true aptitude to the game, which hardly comes as a surprise given the nations love for it. Therefore, after simple passing and tackling drills, they were put into game situations which were good to see. With the younger ones it was much simpler. Small passing was all they could manage; otherwise the sessions just consisted of chasing Jack, and or the ball. Perhaps not the most structured of sessions but certainly some of the most enjoyable.
Georgina and Jess pulled the lucky, or the unlucky straw, depending how you feel and had the young ones for most days. Like with Rugby they were content with races, chasing and general chaos. They worked on small throwing and catching drills for both over arm and under arm throwing, however, they saw it safest to save the bats for the older ones. Again it was at this level they could play Kwick-Cricket which took up all of Friday’s session before our TP team stepped in to play their own, very sub-standard game.