Wednesday, March 19, 2008
"Yada yada yada sports. Yada yada yada coaches. Yada yada yada"
It's tea time. The pule is talking to the teachers. I have zoned out because the speech is in Sāmoan and I don't understand. Besides, he is talking about sports and coaches, so he must be talking about the rugby team again.
"Sara, don't you agree?"
Wait, what? We've switched to English. That means that it is something the pule wants me to hear. But I don't know what I do or don't agree with. Crap. Time to go with Plan B. I look up from the lesson plan book and say "Huh?"
This is when I learned that the talk earlier was actually about girls' netball. Our school had a netball team last year, but they had to quit in the middle of the season for lack of coaches. The pule thinks that we should have netball for the girls this year. He said he doesn't want to discriminate against the girls and only have sports for the boys. And we are taking a vote. All teachers in favor of netball for girls should raise their hands.
Well, hells yeah! I think that it is great to not discriminate against the girls and have sports for them too. I raise my hand.
Apparently, what I didn't know what that the reason netball had been canceled the year before was because of a lack of female teachers for coaches. By being a female teacher and raising my hand for netball, I had effectively volunteered to coach.
Hmmm.....so what is this netball you speak of?
According to Wikipedia:
"Netball is a non-contact sport similar to, and derived from, basketball. It is usually known as a women's sport. It was originally known in its country of origin, the United States, as "women's basketball". Invented in 1895 by Clara Gregory Baer,, a pioneer in women's sport, it is now the pre-eminent women's team sport (both as a spectator and participant sport) in Australia and New Zealand and is popular in the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom."
You can check out the rules here.
I explain to the girls' sports master that I don't know how to play netball. Ah! Well that is ok. I am a palagi, so that means I like to run and exercise (the pule did offer when I first arrived in the village that I could jog around the school field whenever I wanted to, he does not know me or that I don't jog unless I am being chased by wild dogs). Since I like to run and exercise, I can lead the girls in the trainings (as they are called). The trainings appear to be laps and stretches and calisthenics.
I did that for three practices last week. I searched deep in my brain and dug up all sorts of crazy things they used to make us do in gym class. We ran laps and did what St. Monica's gym coach called burpees, but what the rest of the world has never heard of. We ran sprints and backwards and sideways. We stretched all sorts of muscles. The girls hated me for it.
Thursday there were games. I got on a bus full of girls and coaches and we went to another school. I took pictures and asked people what was going on and got a bit sunburned. The seniors and intermediate girls won.
Being a coach ain't all that hard.
Posted by Cale