By Jarrett Costron:
A few days after going over the program with the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and Botswana Taekwondo Federation (BTF). The BTF decided that, given their needs, our original action plan regarding how to begin implementing the Botswana Long Term Athlete Development plan (BLTAD) within their federation was inappropriate. As a result, the majority of my first two work weeks have been spent working with the BNOC and BTF to design a grassroots level implementation plan that fits the BTF’s needs, but still aligns with the BLTAD’s key principles.
By Wednesday (January 27th), we finally designed a program that we believe will be an appropriate way to begin rolling out the BLTAD within the BNOC. Unfortunately, due to this initial speed bump we fell a little behind schedule.
On February 8th we will be holding the first module of the two grassroots coaching modules that will be held while I am in Botswana. The purpose of these modules is to give its participants the tools to be able to teach basic Taekwondo to kids between the ages of six and fourteen. In between the first and second module we will mentor and evaluate these coaches as they teach Taekwondo to their students. If we believe they are ready, they will be able to move on to the second module that will be held in March. Ultimately, our goal is to have 10 coaches pass the second module by the time I leave.
Although I have spent a lot of my time working feverishly to ensure we are prepared for the first module, I have been able to squeeze in some social time, both on the weekend and in between work days.
Last Sunday, we spent at Cedric’s house (one of Simba’s friends). On the way to his house Simba told me that there was only going to be a few people over. Clearly the definition of a few people is different in Botswana, because there was about thirty people at Cedric’s. Outside of his house, Cedric and his band were playing music while everyone was scattered across the yard socializing. It was no doubt, an awesome way to spend a Sunday.
This weekend I basically lived at my favorite bar, Bull and Bush (don’t judge me). But seriously, who can blame when the patio looks like this……
At the end of each month Bull and Bush hosts two events. On Saturday they have a market where local vendors set up tables around the border of their large patio. While on Sunday they have an all you can eat roast. During both these events Cedric provides entertainment for everyone in attendance. On Saturday he does his solo act and on Sunday he plays with his band.
On a side note, my BNOC co workers have given me my Setswana name – Thobo. Apparently, it is a biblical word that means to be given something good (i.e. a prize or reward). Lets hope I can live up to my new name!
Until next time!!