The drive for a fuller, more expansive curriculum at Brainhouse has delivered some unexpected but extremely exciting news. Two years ago our young people played football with a ball made out of plastic bags for their own enjoyment during breaks in the school day – there was no organised football, playing in teams or even kit for the youngsters to wear. They played a form of volleyball – standing in a circle hitting the plastic bag ball up into the air and seeing how long they could prevent it from falling to the ground.
Thanks to the support of excellent coaching from Manchester Communications Academy, continued passion from the staff at Brainhouse to widen the extra curriculum of the school, and wonderful donations of sport equipment and clothing kit – incredible strides towards being competitive in the wider community have taken place. Brainhouse’s male volleyball team have won their way through the local division and now lead the provincial league – not bad for a team that two years ago did not know the full rules of the game. The football team have not quite made it in the same way, however they are also playing league football and building a reputation as an outstanding side.
The teams however were hampered by not having sports footwear so we sourced specific funding to buy new boots for the main teams and negotiated an excellent deal with a local supplier. What an incredible morning we had when we took the boys to be fitted with their new shoes – the lads were so excited – new shoes is not something these boys have ever had before. Their first challenge in the shopping centre was conquering their fear of stepping onto an escalator for the first time. From an observers point of view it was really amusing; but I suspect from their point of view terrifying!!
We need to say a huge thank you to Nairobi Sports House for giving us a great deal and coping with the excitement of the youngsters. We also bought other items to benefit more children and provide further inspiration to get active – basketball hoops, a good volleyball and hula hoops which all the children loved playing with when we returned.
The final joy, was on our return when the lads donned their new kit, grabbed the new balls and headed out to the community to share with them their excitement and joy – it was like they had won the World Cup final. How incredible that the introduction of footballs and volleyball two years could have provoked such a wonderful result for all.