On September 22 2012, I will be joining a team of volunteers (whom I have yet to meet) in flying out to Uganda for a charity mission organised by Cricket Without Boundaries.
In a nutshell, Cricket Without Boundaries is a UK-based charity that works in five African countries helping, educating and developing local communities through the spread and growth of cricket.
Crucially, CWB also uses cricket as a tool in the fight against AIDS. CWB’s training sessions have at their heart discussion about the disease in terms of prevention, treatment and equality of treatment for those with and without the disease.
Anybody who knows me will know I love headline figures – over the last six years CWB has delivered 26 projects in six countries helping an amazing 30,000 youngsters and training 2,000 coaches to ICC standard to enable the work to be sustainable.
For more on this, visit the rather wonderful www.cricketwithoutboundaries.com.
This is my first time doing something like this and, I confess, I’m not completely sure about what I am expecting, my primary reference point about the country (probably like you) being the movie The Last King of Scotland.
Cricket has, over the years, given me many great times on tour with England and Africa, in particular, captured my imagination, hence the motivation for wanting to get involved with CWB.
Quite how a fair-skinned, red-headed bloke from Gornal who hadn’t even so much as held a cricket ball before last summer will get on is anybody’s guess, but it’ll be interesting to find out.
So, here’s the thing.
I’ve paid the cost of the trip myself so all donations go directly to helping the work of the charity itself. Now, I imagine most of my chums would chip in for the very thought of me teaching leg spin to Ugandan youngsters for two weeks.
But, to make it slightly more interesting, and to raise awareness of the work of CWB, I’m having a day on Friday August 24 where I’ll happily (subject to the right deal being brokered) do anything in return for your donation.
I’ve set a target of 766 – which was Alistair Cook’s aggregate score for the 2010-11 Ashes, hence the great man appearance in the avatar.
So, if you want to see me explain why the Villa are without doubt the best Midlands football side, why Take That are better than The Clash or why the culture around football is far more sophisticated than cricket on various social media platforms, I’m yer man. Or if you just want to donate and let others do the torture, please do.
Use your imagination, nothing is off limits (short of professionally damaging things, of course). Any questions, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org as I’m always happy to discuss.
Thanks for listening.