Stephen Black Reports from South Africa

After what seems like no time at all, we have nearly finished our first month at Glenwood High School in Durban.

The experience so far has been an eye-opening one as we have had a taster of the South African culture, a culture that prides itself on three key elements: discipline, respect and to a certain extent, humility. These characteristics are what Glenwood is all about. As Irish lads, we see the funny side of being greeted as “Sir” or “Merry Gentlemen”. Rumour has it the Rush lads might bring the tradition home to St Joey’s…

We got off to a great start when Daniel got blisters from sunburn and couldn’t play for the first week. Safe to say, the coaches were not too pleased.

Despite the early setback, the boarders and members of staff have made a big effort to make us feel welcome and to involve us in school activities such as the inter-house swimming gala and the various war cries which show the passion that the boys have for their school. It’s clear that Glenwood High is more than just a school, it’s a family.

On the cricket front, the weather in Durban on Saturday’s has been similar to what we’re used to, with heavy rain leading to several cancellations. However, we have got in three matches, 2 x T20’s and one 50 over game against Maritzburg College from Pietermaritzburg. Both myself and Jack Magee put in good contributions, not just with the bat, in a close game against ‘College’ for the 2’s, which saw over 450 runs scored on the main pitch. Unfortunately, we lost by 20 runs in the end.

We’ve started our Futura Sports agency program with North Down 1st team coach Craig Yelverton. With Craig, we will train Monday-Friday for the month of February using the Glenwood school facilities which is right on our doorstep. The program involves bowling to both Sri Lanka and South Africa ahead of the 1st Test at Kingsmead. We get to go to all five days of the Test match through the programme, along with the ODI we were at against Pakistan last week.

I’ve enjoyed the trip so far and look forward to the coming weeks of cricket and beach.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip possible. To Mr Munro at Glenwood who has had the responsibility of being accountable for us over here. To Cricket Leinster who organized the trip on our behalf and of course last, but not least, our parents for their continued support.

Stephen Black

Clongowes Wood & Phoenix Cricket Club