CHATS sessions have proved to be important especially in building life skills in girls, but when the Faculty Advisor (FA) for the Nansenga CHATS club observed that the girls’ were starting to lose their interest in the classroom  she and CHATS club participants organized and geared up for a for sporting activity day on May 9th

The idea for a sporting activity day came when the FA was trying to think of how she could give the girls an opportunity to get active outside while using the CHATS curriculum on building self-esteem and assertiveness. Together with the girls, the FA gathered a number of games suggestions, like relay races, sack racing, singano race, egg throwing, and netball. By taking the girls’ suggestions, the FA was re-invigorating their interest and re-energizing their momentum to keep participation focused through the end of the school year.

When the sporting activities day came, 69 girls participated. Before the games started, the FA explained the rules of each game and had the girls identify the importance of doing sporting activities, to be sure that they made a connection to the CHATS club curriculum. The girls had a lot to say and responses included that sports make a person physically fit, can reduce stress, refreshes the brain, and aids blood circulation.

Because of time constraints, the CHATS club only managed to get to three activities during the sporting session: the relay race, the singano race, and the egg throwing competition. Out of all the games, the relay races were the most popular activity. Everyone could see how each girl was striving and contributing towards their team’s success.

The egg throwing competition provided fun, laughter and excitement among the girls. Pairs of stood opposite each other and threw the egg back and forth to each other. Every so often the FA told the players to increase the distance between them and keep on throwing the egg. With each increasing distance, eggs fell on the ground or broke when they hit the faces, arms and foreheads of the girls. You could see girls trying to play with caution while simultaneously trying to innovate ways to provide cushions to the eggs with each catch to avoid dropping or breaking the egg. Each team that remained after each round was supported by the other players and kept the morale so high. 

In the last game, the singano race, sets of two girls stood 100 meters apart. One carried a singano, or needle, and the other held a thread. The ones that carried a thread are the ones who had to run towards those with needles. Upon reaching the girl who was holding the needle, the thread holder made sure to insert the thread into the needle as fast as she could and run back to the starting point to show her teammates. The secret to being successful at this race was to thread the needle fast (which is not easy!).

At the end of the activities, the FA called all the girls together under a nearby tree and asked what  lessons the girls has learned by playing these games. The girls shared some lessons they had learnt and related them to their everyday lives at home and school. Some lessons learned from the sports activity day were to have perseverance and patience; make good choices; be a supportive friend; and always be hardworking. Apart from refreshing themselves outside of their normal CHATS club learning activities, the girls had a day full of fun and excitement, where they shared their potential with each other and learned some life-long lessons. It was a day that would go into their personal history books and be remembered for a long time.  

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Story written by Bertha Bonongwe