Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Coaching for Hope Workshop

I just wanted to post this to give people an idea of what I am doing and will be doing in Lesotho. I alluded to it in my Sport for Development and Peace post, but didn’t provide much detail.

Last week I hosted my first Coaching for Hope workshop. It was one of the more intense working experiences I have gone through. Imagine being placed in a completely new country, a new culture –both social and professional – and having a couple of months to plan a workshop. The workshop runs from 8:30am to 5:00pm for 7 days. It includes food and accommodation for 40 local participants - you also have to recruit these participants - and it also involves hosting four coaches/facilitators from South Africa and the UK. When I write it out it actually doesn't seem that bad, but trust me, it was hectic.

The workshops focus on preparing local coaches to implement soccer sessions as well as HIV/AIDS cross over sessions. A cross over session involves incorporating information on HIV/AIDS and life skills into a soccer session. For example, a cross over session might include a passing game which involves risk and decision making. This activity could then lead into a discussion on high risk and low risk activities and making good decisions.

Overall I believe that the workshop was a success. Unfortunately we lost one of our UK coaches to the Icelandic volcano – not lost as in deceased or sacrificed, but her flights were cancelled.

In my Sport for Development and Peace post I talked quite a bit about my reservations regarding programmes like the one I am working on, but I think going through an actual workshop and seeing the enthusiasm and excitement of the local coaches has provided me with some optimism moving forward. I am optimistic, but still slightly skeptical. It will be interesting to see how it all develops.

If you are interested in Coaching for Hope I would recommend checking out the link I have on the left of my blog. As well as learning about the programme you will get to see pictures of David Beckham when he visited Coaching for Hope in Cape Town. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, he manages to keep his shirt on - I think.

May 4, 2010

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