Mill Hill School – 2018 Tag Rugby Trust Tour to Zambia And Zimbabwe
The 2018 edition of the Mill Hill School Tag Rugby Trust tour saw 26 pupils and four teachers travel first to Kitwe in the Copperbelt area of Zambia. Hosted warmly by Mpelembe Secondary School, the group ran a teacher and young leader tag coaching session to prepare everyone for the week to come. Split into 5 coaching groups, the team worked in 10 government and community schools around Kitwe during their time there.
A typical day on tour saw each group conducting two morning and two afternoon tag sessions each with approximately 40 boys and girls involved. Local volunteers joined each coaching group as well as teachers from the schools.
The culmination of the first week of the programme saw a fantastic tournament hosted at Mpelemebe School where the 10 schools entered teams of 10 players (5 boys and 5 girls). It was a colourful, vibrant day with some great tag being played by all teams.
Supporting an Old People’s Home
The second week of the tour saw the group move to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Tag rugby still formed part of the programme, but the main focus for the group this week was the renovation of a building and the creation of vegetable gardens at the Chinotimba Association for the Destitute and Aged (CHADA).
Seeing the Sights
Victoria Falls also provided the setting for a visit to the famous Vic Falls waterfall and an opportunity to experience an African safari in the Chobe National Park in Botswanna.
The week was rounded off with a further tag tournament where pupils were included in the school teams (but not allowed to score). The sound system provided another vibrant atmosphere and the standard of tag played was very impressive.
A fantastic Impact on the local communities
As the tour wrapped up and returned to the UK the pupils reflected on their achievements – over 1,000 children coached, a building refurbished, vegetable gardens made and 50 local teachers and young leaders engaged in the whole process.
IATR – I’m Able Through Rugby
The I’m Able Through Rugby (IATR) project is designed to promote the ABILITY in disABILITY. For far too long the common misconception of people with disabilities (PWDs) has been that they aren’t capable of achieving things able bodied people can. Through the IATR programme a platform has been created to showcase their capabilities in an open and inclusive environment. As Tag Rugby Trust (TRT) is built around the community, this initiative helps the IATR members be included and accepted by other members of the community in which they live. It also provides anyone in the IATR programme with a pathway through the TRT programme as a whole.
The First of Many IATR Tournaments
Friday the 20th of July 2018 was a landmark moment for TRT Zim’s IATR (I’m Able Through Rugby) programme, as we ran our first major tournament. Powered by fantastic support from Australian Aid, we were joined by 6 Zimcare centers: Batsirai, Homefields, Ruvimbo, St Catherines, Sharon Cohen and Zambuko. These centers form the core of the IATR program and are the pioneers of TRT Zimbabwe’s IATR initiative. We were also joined by Nora and Amanda from the Australian Embassy, Harare who joined us on the day to present and handover new kit and equipment.
Fun, Games, Laughter & New Kit
As teams were arriving the day was kicked off with various warm up games; passing and catching, tag chaos and bulldogs which saw the joining in of coaches, volunteers and OUR SPONSORS too. Tons of laughing and smiles by all. When all teams had arrived, Des the project co-ordinator kicked off by welcoming everyone to the day and taking no time at all to introduce the sponsors who were delighted to unveil the IATR kit for Tag Rugby Trust Harare. Teams were gifted with new balls, cones, tags and T-shirts which was followed by more smiling. As the presentation was coming to an end, the sponsors also received a token of appreciation from TRT Zim and they, too, said a few words.
A Great, Competitive Tournament
Tournament kicked off with a bang with Homefields taking on Batsirai followed by Sharon Cohen competing with Ruvimbo. It was staggered between two pools of three, seeing each team play 2 games in the round robin stages. After the pools were decided, 4 more knock out games were held. At the end of it all the team from Chitungwisa, Sharon Cohen, were crowned champions of the event. Special mention to Coach Washy and Coach Boxer as without their help the program and day would not have been a success.
Thank You Australian Aid
A mighty “thank you” goes to Australian Aid through their offices in Harare. Due to their commitment and support the program has made huge strides and has given TRT Zimbabwe the platform needed to expand and grow the project further.
#AbilityInDisABILITY #I’mAble #Zimcare #AusAid
Report by Harare Media