On the 24th March Kathleen Briedenhann travelled to South Africa with the Frontball Development team to launch the second Frontball school on the African continent. Frontball is a similar sport to wallball but uses a hard ball instead of a rubber one. UK Wallball is developing strong links with Frontball in terms of sport outreach and accessibility.
After the success of the first project which was launched in QwaQwa, South Africa in July 2014 it was decided to open a second school in Ermelo so that the two regions can compete against one another. Frontball has partnered with Children of the Dawn – a South African charity which supports over 850 orphaned children.
Two days were spent in Ermelo; introducing the sport and training the children and on the second day we ran a mini tournament. The children quickly grasped the game and battles were fought on two walls. Three coaches were trained and weekly sessions will start at the end of April.
The Frontball team then travelled to QwaQwa to find that the number of players had doubled from 30 to 60! It was also very impressive to see how much progress they had made in only 8 months. The morning was spent training and in the afternoon we ran a much anticipated tournament. 3 walls, 60 players, a load of matches and 2 eventual winners – a junior and a senior. There was endless cheering, singing and dancing on the side lines whilst the players competed for the trophies. Their training sessions take place every Saturday and are run by two coaches who were trained last July.
Each child was presented with a ball, t-shirt, shorts, trainers and a certificate. At the end of the year there will be a regional tournament between Ermelo and QwaQwa.
No matter what the size of the wall or the condition of the floor surface, the courts are in constant use by eager players. The children enjoyed playing together, making new friends and showing off their talent. It was a very successful and special project and we look forward to seeing the sport continue to grow in South Africa.