Day 9: Hokies Teach P.E.

Enjoying soccer during PE class with kindergarteners.

Emily Mertes keeping the KICS kids entertained.

This morning we hosted a gym class for kindergarteners. The sports were soccer, football, and basketball. It was another hot and sunny day in Kigali. My expectations were that the kids would be very energetic and chaotic, making it hard to get their attention. Walking to KICS we were pumped and ready to go. As we got to KICS, we spoke with Dr. Ben Thomas, the Director of KICS. We had a quick talk about how the day was going to go and the scheduling. Ben told us that the kindergarten class had kids from 8 different countries. At that moment, I realized how diverse of a school KICS was. Moreover, he told us that the basketball court we were standing on is one of the best basketball court in the country of Rwanda.

As we started I saw many different faces of kids out of the 12, so we asked them their favorite sport to play and their names. Most of them said soccer which I anticipated but surprinsingly two or three kids said swimming. After that, we did a brief warm-up to get the kids going. The first group to go was soccer. The kids were so excited. The soccer crew really helped engage the kids in the game of soccer. They played a bowling game where the kids had to knock the balls off the cones with the soccer ball. The expression on their faces was priceless, the kids loved soccer. Each group had 10 minutes of their sport. Next up was American football, the transition between sports went very smooth, and here we took them through how to hold the football. We had college-sized footballs and it was nearly half their size. However, they held the footballs while zig-zagging through the cones, they had very good technique running. The kids really enjoyed playing football and learning various football drills. The kids listened so well throughout and were well behaved, something we all did not expect out of kindergarteners. KICS has done a phenomenal job with their kids!

Last but not least was basketball. Although we were broken up into different sports we still managed to help with all three sports. It was four people per sport, but as each station was going on one at a time we still helped each other. In a sense, we had a lot of teamwork going on during the whole class. It was our first time doing a PE class for the week, and we have more to do later in the week. It was definitely a cool experience. Interacting with kids is the best, in my opinion. Getting a chance to play and have fun with them is really something we all found ourselves loving to do. We all had huge smiles on our faces the entire time, and we got to see the diversity in KICS with kids from all around the world.

-Yosuah Nijman

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