As our team closes out the fifth day of our African adventure, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey so far. Today marked a significant milestone for 2-4-1, as Kerry and I finally got the chance to bring our training sessions to life with local educators and children in Kitwe, Zambia. This moment felt like a culmination of years of planning, and suddenly, it was real.
Welcoming Embrace from Wellness for Greatness, Kenya
Our partners at Wellness for Greatness, Kenya have been nothing short of amazing. Their warm hospitality has fueled our excitement for the upcoming programs starting December 12. Though we left them in Nairobi and arrived here in Zambia just last night, we hit the ground running this morning (Dec 4, seven hours ahead of EST) with over 35 educators eager to learn our approach. But, it was our Kenyan friends who sent us forth with optimism and confidence about the need for our training and programming.
The Anticipation and Success of Our First Day
The anticipation kept Kerry and me up most of last night. We were determined to deliver our best. Looking back at the day, I can confidently say it could not have gone better. As veteran teacher/coaches, we were reminded that this is what we have worked for our whole lives — it was powerful in so many ways and I was particularly proud of Kerry at how gifted she was at quickly connecting with the teacher/coaches despite any language differences.
Training and Play: A Universal Language
Much of the training that the Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport (CHJS) provided in Hartford this past September was replicated here in Kitwe for the local coaches. Blended with our TOP Self social emotional learning platform, our understanding of Physical Literacy and of course, sport sampling – the marriage of both trainings was truly powerful. We emphasized a core belief: kids are kids, regardless of geography. This was evident in the afternoon when we applied our morning’s adult training with the children. Their receptivity and enthusiasm were heartwarming.
The Power of Emojis and Sports in Learning
Today’s success proved two things: using emojis to teach emotions and social-emotional learning transcends cultural barriers, as does the universal appeal of sports. Once the games began, minimal instruction was needed; the children improved through play. We always insist on adults participating with the kids, and this made a significant difference – the laughter and joy were palpable.
Shared Meals and Culture
A shared meal with the children, featuring local cuisine, added to the day’s festivities. It was a beautiful moment of cultural exchange and community.
Looking Ahead: Growing Interest and Participation
We’re returning to the same site tomorrow, and the word has spread – more educators and about 50 to 60, potentially even a hundred kids are expected. This overwhelming interest is a testament to the program’s impact.
A Heartfelt Thank You
We are immensely grateful for the welcome and cooperation we’ve received from our friends at the Care Sport Foundation. To capture these moments better than words can, stay tuned for pictures and videos on our social media channels.
As we continue this journey, we remain committed to reaching as many eager minds as possible. The laughter, learning, and connections we’ve made here in Africa are indelible, and we’re excited for what the next days will bring.
About Steve Boyle
Steve Boyle is a visionary leader and advocate for youth sports and physical literacy. As the Executive Director of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc. and Co-Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve stands at the forefront of the movement to transform the youth sports paradigm. His forward-thinking anti-specialization approach has garnered acclaim from esteemed institutions like the Aspen Institute. At the helm of 2-4-1, Steve has skillfully guided its expansion from its flagship location in West Hartford, Connecticut, to a range of locations across the U.S., Canada, and Africa. His leadership has not only scaled the program but also redefined the standards of youth sports Beyond the scope of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve’s influence extended to developing the National Association of Physical Literacy, where his insights as Advisory Board Chair were pivotal. His tenure as Global Lead on Physical Literacy and Athletics for Whittle School & Studios marked a significant contribution to the global community, shaping the athletic and physical education frameworks across campuses in Shenzhen and Washington, D.C. Steve is equally known for merging his expertise in counseling with his coaching acumen to create the TOP Self social-emotional learning platform. This innovative endeavor leverages sports to impart essential social-emotional learning skills, cementing Steve’s status as a national authority in physical literacy development.