Be A Gunner, Be A Runner

The finish linePrior to the final of the tournament, we arranged a fun run through Kanungu and the surrounding villages.  This was to tie in with the Be A Gunner, Be A Runner event Arsenal were holding in London to raise money for Save The Children.  We had three different starting points, with Jesper, Robbie and I splitting up to take part too.  The finish for all three was at the same place…Savannah, the venue of the final.

We decided to give out prizes for the first three to finish the run from each of the start points, and then give out the many more prizes in a raffle.  Arsenal had given me a box of football kits of different sizes to bring to Uganda and hand out.  These had been bolstered by the kind donation of shirts collected by several of the volunteers.  Tom’s friends back home had collected a variety from Real Madrid to Morocco, Ali had also brought some out and Vicky’s Dad had donated some Leeds ones, which we gave out as the booby prize!  Only joking Mr. Bailiss – we were extremely grateful for all of them, but more importantly so were the people who are now wearing them around Kanungu!  We also gave out some of the Arsenal footballs, but kept the majority as we wanted to give them to the schools we had worked at.  Oh, and the other reason we needed them was that we still had coaching sessions to carry out!

Anyway, the run was a huge success.  I don’t think an event such as this has been held before in this area, so we were really pleased when around 240 people took part.  It really was a fantastic effort.

The first three from each race were given their choice of the prizes on offer, and then we held the raffle.  Everyone who had finished the run was given a piece of paper with their finishing number on.  We had a box full of those numbers, so if for example 45 was pulled out, the person who had number 45 would win a prize.

Raffle in Uganda

The look of utter confusion on Frank’s face should have given us a clue about the chaos that was to follow!

We got Frank to explain in Rukiga the fundamentals of how a raffle works, then got down to business.  We gave out so many prizes, with the winners of course proudly showing off their new kits.  Everything had gone so well…or so we thought.  As we packed up after the raffle, in preparation for the start of the final, some of the adults were livid about something.  There was real rage in their eyes after we had handed out the last of the prizes, and it transpired that they hadn’t quite grasped the concept of a raffle.  One particularly angry man was complaining that he had finished 11th in the race but the person who had finished 23rd had won a prize!  It was amazing…we had made so many people, particularly children, extremely happy by holding the fun run and then by giving out so many prizes.  Yet once again we were met by a minority of adults behaving like ungrateful toddlers.  I guess you can never please some people.

All in all though, the event had been a massive success, as was the final that followed.


Posted on May 2, 2012, in 6. Be A Gunner, Be A Runner and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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