The month of October has come to an end quicker than I could have ever imagined, the adage “time flies when your having fun” has held true throughout my time in the Turks and Caicos. It’s the halfway point of my internship and it has been one of the most valuable and memorable experiences of my life. About my last blog, my duties with the TCIRFU have stayed the same for the most part with the addition of some responsibilities. During the school week, I am out at several of the local schools teaching the basics of rugby and encouraging students to participate in our Saturday tag sessions. One of the main goals through the SportWORKS program is to promote and build the sustainability of rugby in Turks and Caicos. The identification and selection of local participants to assist in this effort is imperative to the long-term success of this program, which I actively pursued throughout this past month. I have identified certain students at each of the 10 schools that I run sessions at and provided them a leadership role that they have all accepted with great pride. The importance of having these local champions cannot be underscored to extend rugby participation rates when my internship has finished.
Regarding the management of the Saturday morning tag rugby sessions, it has been a work in progress to maintain numbers for the U15 age group because of lack of transportation options. This has led me to organize a transportation schedule for pickups & drop-offs to those children that do not have a reliable transportation method. Additionally, to spark interest my supervisor Keith Burant and I have been in the process of scheduling a trip to Grand Turk for our U15 team to compete and develop camaraderie. The process of taking a team over to Grand Turk entails several things, I have been in contact with the rugby coach there to coordinate an event date, location and an itinerary for our players. Another consideration for this trip is that some of our players cannot afford their transportation fees, which has led me to organize some fundraising events to help lower some of the costs. The first is a community car-wash at the Provo Golf Course this upcoming weekend and the other is a team maintenance day to keep the rugby field in top shape.
Lastly, I have taken on the new responsibility of providing transportation assistance for the majority of the women’s team on Wednesday evenings. This specific duty is very significant to me because I am looking to expand the women’s program in terms of participant numbers. To improve the quality of the program, it is important to have an abundant amount of women and girls that show and maintain interest to participate.
Aside from my work responsibilities, I have got to experience so many of the things that the island has to offer in the past month. I was fortunate enough to have my wonderful girlfriend, Ally visit for a week in the middle of October. She was able to attend one of sessions at Enid Capron primary, and outside of the regular school sessions, I had time to explore the island and play the role of tour guide. I would have never thought I would be the one showing someone else around the island, considering how many times I had gotten myself lost during the month of September. We got to see some of the local landmarks like “the Hole” in Long Bay, snorkel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and para-sail along the scenic Grace Bay Beach. I hope to continue making as much of an impact as possible during the rest of my time on the island and making a positive influence on the youth rugby program for the long haul.
That’s all for now, talk again when December rolls around!