Why I volunteer with Cricket Without Boundaries Dave Terrace - CWB VOLUNTEER

Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a regressing player but improving watcher of cricket who has seen how sport can make a positive impact in communities.

I found out about Cricket Without Boundaries through word-of-mouth; an ex-project leader plays at my club and mentioned it in passing. He went to Uganda and had a great time so I checked out the website and went from there!

I have always been passionate about cricket (though my ability has declined!) and had recently returned from an international development trip in Gambia.

Seeing the enthusiasm for sport that they had in Gambia made me think that there was an opportunity to harness the power of sport to get social messages across both explicitly through the coaching and implicitly such as getting boys and girls to play together.

I am also not the beach holiday type and like to use my time off work to get out and see the world and hopefully make a difference!

I raised money for my first trip by running the Bristol Half Marathon in full cricket gear (including helmet) with another project member. It is not recommended but did the trick and it is clear that is a good cause so getting support was easy.

I also got support from my cricket club who put on a poker night and a quiz. Obviously the cricket link is helpful in getting people to sponsor you.

I’ve been on four trips now, three to Rwanda and one to Cameroon. Each one has been incredible in different ways.

This video explains one day in my first trip to Rwanda. Cricket in Rwanda was really still in its infancy so we were lucky to influence cricket there but also the video illustrates the variety we had in just one day on the project.

It was exhausting, exhilarating but inspiring and the first trip is one of the key reason why I am still involved in the charity to this day.

The two further trips to Rwanda saw the cricket and most importantly the coaches develop there, partly due to our expertise but mainly through their dedication and enthusiasm for cricket.

Waving goodbye after a session in Rwanda
Coaching the coaches - Coach Education on my first Rwanda project

Plus, I lead the second ever trip to Cameroon. In a country where football is king, we were nervous about the impact we could have with cricket, however we shouldn’t have been.

Project Leader responsibilities in Cameroon - a TV interview!
Testing out the local conditions, batting in Cameroon

Again the enthusiasm and skill of local coaches was clear and the children were completely engaged not just in the cricket but also the social messaging that was embedded within the cricket.

Lively and skilled local coaches, fully trained in cricket and HIV messaging!
Rwanda - Pefa orphanage

The biggest challenges of the trips? It's always hard to see extreme poverty. It's also hard to resist the calls of children who have nothing. We are there to improve skills and knowledge (alongside providing a small amount of equipment) so it's hard not to give all the children who need it.

It's hard work, physically and mentally tiring, but so, so worth it!

If there were three key things I have learnt from my trips with Cricket Without Boundaries, they would be:

1. Education is the key with spreading AIDS awareness

Running AIDS out of Rwanda with A-B-C

2. Enthusiasm crosses language and culture barriers

Rwandan "dance-off"!

3. To be sustainable you need to build within the communities – the ambassadors are the key for the future of CWB

CWB Ambassador Eric in action

I have volunteered for CWB in the UK ever since been captivated by my first project. It's incredible that CWB is largely volunteer lead as its it much bigger than the sum of its parts. I have done a number of roles in the charity but currently I sit on the Operational Leadership Team with the responsibility for monitoring and evaluation. I also look after the charities social media so please follow us on twitter/instagram/facebook!

Thanks to CWB I have had some incredible experiences in Africa and England. From coaching 200 kids in a Rwandan field, to holding a press conference with the Head of Cameroon sport through to playing a charity game against England Women in Arundel. It has been amazing. However, the real buzz comes from knowing that we have made a difference to peoples lives through bringing enthusiasm, knowledge and materials to some of the worlds poorest communities.

If you are thinking about volunteering for CWB, stop thinking – just do it!

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