22nd May, 2014
Starting the day with Burmese breakfast is pretty rare when we are in our home towns, it’s the last thing we excepted at the Youth Camp. I know I keep talking about the different kinds of awesome food that we eat, but I would rate the food here with a 9/10. Thanks to Kalpesh, a teacher and ultimate player – FountainHead School, who took the effort to take us out for breakfast. A 10 minute drive into the City brought us to a Burmese Settlement (which by itself is pretty rare) in Surat. We got to eat Khao Suey and Aloo Poori .
After this the outstation coaches and the campers from Surat and Ahmedabad arrived. Most of the coaches are Chennai based and therefore had the privilege and comfort of learning the coaching manual over 3 weekends. The outstation (Surat/Ahmedabad/Delhi/Bangalore) coaches had to cram it all in one day. The session was spread over 6 hours with a lunch break in the middle. The lunch break turned out to be the undoing of many coaches and my fellow coach Box and I found the energy level dropping and people sitting and waiting for their turn at the drill we were trying to learn. We took a quick vote to see if people wanted to break and regroup or power through and power through was the call.
The slight difference in the ideology behind this Youth Camp is that it’s as much about the Coaches and their personal development through Ultimate as much as it’s about the campers and their technical and personal learning. Most of the are young adults selected as coaches are 18 – 25 and are first timers. The program tries to develop their coaching skills and their understanding of the aspects behind coaching.
I hit the showers after the training session not sure about my next opportunity to use it and almost magically when I got out all the campers and the Chennai coaches had silently teleported inside the school premises! Little did I know this was the last day of peace the coaches would get. Oh Boy! they have so much energy.
The welcome ceremony consisted of Vardan, the principal of FountainHead School and ultimate players addressing all the campers and coaches. He spoke about the differences that cease to exist when we get on the Ultimate field. If I had to describe the campers quickly, their primary divide is at language. One majority of the campers understand only Tamil and other half only Hindi. This divide in language and this communication gap has to be bridged by the coaches. The communication gap also works a little against how fast a team might bond. There was initial hesitation to talk to the other kids in the team whose language was new to them. So once the campers identified their teams we played a quick and much needed Icebreaker. They had to say their name accompanied with an action and the rest of the team had to remember the name and reenact the action. The 10 pm bed time was certainly not possible to enforce, full of energy, they continued to throw the disc around even within their sleeping arrangements. It’s a miracle they didn’t break anything! We have a 5 am wake up call for tomorrow and it’s the official Day 1 of our Youth Camp.
I’m quietly making peace with the fact that I will be the last one to bed and the first one up, it’s my 1st of many late nights to come. I get to sit in a dark room with 30-40 other girls coaches and campers and hammer away at the keys while they are fast asleep. I sincerely hope not to scare anyone who wakes up.