Over the last 2 weeks with the end of exams and the start of semester 2, although we have been busy starting our new sets of lectures and celebrating finishing our exams, it was also very busy with preparing for Zambia.
On the last day of exams, we were there ready at 6pm when the last students coming out of the dreaded exam hall finished with celebrations, to take down the exam desks and tables. We worked efficiently to clear all the chair, tables and about a third of the carpet in only 2 hours so we managed to make it out to the union to celebrate the end of exams after all! It didn’t take us as long as we thought it would!
In our meeting last week, we packaged 300 bags of sweets in £1 and £2 bags to sell at the Loughborough Lightning netball matches that we will be attending over the next few weeks. I didn’t attend last week (as I was out for my birthday!) but Mitchell, Parie, Seb and Tom sold sweets, raffle tickets and did the half time shoot out taking about £330!
Last week, Lucy and I also attended an Understanding Mental Health in Sport course, where we learnt about the different types of mental health conditions and how sports providers can help people who might experience these to get in to and continue participating in sport. It was a very interesting course, highlighting that mental health occurs in many people (1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives) and that there are many benefits sport provides which helps. For example, the course leader told us about a man who she has worked with in the past who hears voices in his head and they never go away even with treatment. However, when he gets on a football pitch to play, they disappear completely. Imagine how much relief just 30 minutes playing football can give that man.
Lucy and I also, met with Sam Walsh, part of the Zambia Family in 2017, would told us more about the roles we will be carrying out while we are in Zambia. I am going to be based in University Teaching Hospital (UTH) 2 mornings a week working as a disability sport coach and the rest of my time I will spend at Fountain of Hope coaching netball. Sam told us that one of the challenges she found when at UTH was that some of the children she worked with were death but no one told her about it at first! Therefore, I’m going to try my best to brush up on my basic sign language skills that I learnt in school before I go out! Finding out about our placements has made more even more excited about doing this amazing project and it feels more and more real everyday!