Late November saw The Change Foundation team up with Farm4Life and their Sports 4 All programme to raise the awareness of disability inclusion, develop sports in the community and introduce Blind Cricket to Ghana. Although the premise of the programme was similar to others embarked upon by the Change Foundation this would be a trip to remember.
Day one saw members of the TCF development team, Si Ledwith and Alex Bassan as the focal point of a press conference at the National Stadium in Accra. Alongside members of the Paralympic Committee, Ghana Cricket Board and the leading Presidential candidate for Ghana, Si and Alex discussed the issues surrounding disability sport and why inclusion was important for everyone. Coverage of the press conference was shown on two television channels including GTV, three radio stations and a variety of newspapers.
The following day Si and Alex taught the Ghana National Cricket team how to play blind cricket with the use of simulation glasses. The team were shown how to guide players, employ ‘useful’ communication, experience running with a blindfold on and navigate themselves through an obstacle course and the cricket pitch whilst having a ‘temporary’ visual impairment to contend with. Now equipped with the skills and knowledge, the National players will go out into the community and the schools to set up blind cricket teams with the view to organising competitive fixtures in the next 12 months.
Highlights from the rest of the trip included:
• Developing Blind Cricket at a school for the Blind up in the mountains North of Ghana.
• Coaching the National Rugby team using Rugby 4’s, a tool that they will now use to raise the awareness of the sport and attract more players into the game.
• Visiting a community project in Teshie where we taught over 60 young people to play Street20 Cricket and Rugby 4’s as well as a plethora of skills and drills.
• Developing sports in a school for the deaf and those with learning difficulties, allowing for greater participation in sport and improved knowledge for the sports tutors.
• Spending time developing sports at a local Orphanage which is run by one of our Farm4Life associates.
It’s fair to say that this was a hugely successful trip that achieved so much more than it originally set out to do. We believe that the impact of this programme will last long into the future and we endeavour to return next year to continue building upon the foundations that we have laid thus far.
*’Farm4Life’ – aim to support the poor and vulnerable through education and the provision of resources, to encourage self-sufficiency within individuals and small businesses.