“Why do it? Why put yourself through it all? Are you completely mad?” These are just a few of the questions Hamish Adams-Cairns has been asked recently.
Over the next twelve months, Brixton resident Adams-Cairns will be competing in three marathons, three long distance bike rides, two triathlons, a Tough Mudder, a Three Peaks Challenge, and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Cricket Match ever played.
Why? To build Rwanda’s first ever dedicated, international cricket ground.
“Cricket has the ability to provide those with such troubled pasts an opportunity to relax and have fun” says Adams-Cairns. “This is what inspired me to work with the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, and to put myself through the pain and suffering of my #DareYourself Campaign.”
He will also become ‘T-Total’ for 2015 which, he says, “may prove to be the toughest challenge of them all given I am currently a student, at clown school – living in Paris!”
The clown-in-training is giving up the booze for good reason. “The events of 1994,” he says, “and my subsequent visits to Rwanda to coach cricket have taught me two life altering lessons. The first is that of inspiration. It is immediately obvious to anyone who has coached cricket in Rwanda that everyone you meet shares a love for the game. Rwandans are incredibly enthusiastic to learn, improve and commit their time and effort to cricket. More importantly, however, cricket has the ability to provide those with such troubled pasts an opportunity to relax and have fun.”
“It is impossible for us to fully understand or appreciate the horrors of the genocide,” says Adams-Cairns, who has experienced indelibly the effect cricket can have in Rwandan communities. “No amount of reading or re-watching of news coverage can fully prepare you for what these people lived through. I have bowled at, and fielded alongside countless orphaned children. And I have opened the batting with young adults who were forced to watch their parents being murdered.”
Despite the country’s weighted history, cricket-mad Adams-Cairns found the people of Rwanda laugh, smile, dance and sing more than those of any other country he has visited.
“Whilst I consider that what I am embarking on this year will be tough and challenging, it is nothing in comparison to the horrors that the people of Rwanda have suffered since 1994. So if I have to struggle, to sweat and to graft to help raise money and awareness for Rwanda then I am more than happy to do so. This is my opportunity to repay Rwanda for what it has taught me.”
Working with the Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation – a charity run in partnership with the Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation – Adams-Cairns hopes to raise £600,000 towards developing the site on the edge of Rwandan capital, Kigali, and widening the healing potential of Rwandan cricket.
To find out more about the project, and Adams-Cairns’ various challenges, visit the RCSF page here: http://www.rcsf.org.uk/
Donations towards the cricket ground can be made by visiting the Virgin Giving page at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=RCSF
You can follow Adams-Cairns’ progress on his #DareYourself page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/927691207241033/?notif_t=plan_user_joined