Sunday, November 15, 2009

Richmond GRS Event Yesterday, TOC Starts Tomorrow

On Saturday, Anna, myself and our current coaches took over Richmond's dusty soccer field and organized a one-day GRS event for a bunch of kids in Richmond. The format was pretty straight-forward: each of our four coaches recruited a team of 10 local kids aged 12-15, and then as the day progressed the teams alternated between soccer matches and GRS HIV education activities. We bought bread, baloney and cool drink (all cold drinks - Coke, Sprite, Orange juice, Kool Aid, all of it - are lumped together here as "cool drink") for lunch, followed by a consolation match and the Championship game. The Championship ended in a thrilling penalty shootout, and the Shooting Stars narrowly defeated the American Stars (Anna and I took no part in naming the teams and take no responsibility for the fact that the four teams ended up being named Shooting Stars, American Stars, Golden Stars, and All Stars). The boy who scored the winning kick was immediately hoisted into the air to great fanfare and carried around by his teammates. A brief ceremony ensued where each of the winning kids were given their prizes: GRS Skillz Snap bracelets (the kind that are magnetized or whatever magical technology it is that lets them stay rigid at first but then snap around your wrist as a bracelet). Pretty fun event.

Tonight/tomorrow things get really crazy as GRS Master Coaches arrive from headquarters in Cape Town and we get to work on a week-long TOC (Training of Coaches) which will take 9 Richmond volunteers and 4 from Colesberg through all of the training necessary to become GRS Skillz coaches. By Friday, if all goes as planned, we'll have 13 more HIV educators in the Karoo. The Colesberg guys are particularly important because that town currently has no GRS programs at all and, as a fairly large place which is a nexus of several major highways, it is exciting to get started with GRS there.

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