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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Saturday, 27 October 2007 12:35 UK

Namibian trip a real eye-opener

By Kate Wilson
Your Game All-Star

Kate Wilson from Bristol
Kate Wilson (right) shakes hands with a player from a local team

Being a Your Game All-star, started to my surprise with a visit to number 11 Downing Street.

We were invited to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. We had a great time in a world I am quite sure none of us had experienced before.

From then on it just got better and better, before I knew it we were all on a plane heading for Namibia and the Next Step youth conference.

During the conference we were able to discuss a variety of subjects that create barriers for people across the world wanting to participate in sport, such as disability, gender, HIV and Aids and many more.

Whilst at the conference we not only shared the successes and failures of our own projects, but we made friends with young people trying to achieve the same objectives across the globe.

I got to report on the conference live on air for BBC Bristol and I joined none other than Dame Kelly Holmes on Radio 5 Live. Plus I met the great Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks.

We did some amazing things including going on safari (an experience of a lifetime) and we went to a local school which was incredible.

The children went mad on our arrival and their football team happily beat us at a game of barefoot five-a-side on their stone-ridden playground.

The pitch was covered in bits of broken gun and glass

Your Game All-Star Kate Wilson

We also visited Penduka - a social initiative programme helping deaf people earn a living by running their own business, selling jewellery and embroidery.

We played their football team a few days later and again got a severe beating.

The guys and girls I coach in Devon are always moaning about training on a concrete pitch rather than astroturf, but we played on Penduka's pitch which was made out of rocks the size of fists.

It was also covered in bits of broken gun, glass and almost everything else you could imagine.

No-one was doing any diving here - staying on your feet was imperative if you didn't want to get hurt. I suddenly felt extremely privileged.

We saved the best till last helping run a Your Game tournament at the National Football Stadium in Namibia.

It was hot and hard work, but was the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I helped make sure the matches were run properly and most importantly my eyes were opened to some serious poverty and deprivation.

I even got to do a coaching session with a group of amazing young girls, who learnt faster than anyone I have ever taught before.

Read more on Kate Wilson's blog

see also
Meeting Dame Kelly
27 Sep 07 |  Your Game
The Your Game All-Stars
11 Sep 07 |  Your Game
Pictures as Your Game visits the PM
06 Sep 07 |  Your Game
The Your Game legacy
11 Jul 07 |  Your Game
London teams top of Your Game
16 Jul 07 |  Your Game

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