Scott Froggatt – My Time In Ghana.
Last summer, travel company African Adventures announced that they had teamed up with Tranmere Rovers in the Community to offer its supporters a unique opportunity to volunteer in Ghana. That trip took place earlier this month and I spoke to Scott Froggatt about his time in West Africa, he came back with many great memories.
When you first heard about the opportunity to go over to Ghana, what were your initial thoughts and was it something that you were always interested in?
I’ve always wanted to go over to Africa, not Ghana specifically, because it’s one of those continents that not many people you are friends with have been to. The link with the club was also a good factor, the opportunity was being presented to me as a Tranmere supporter so it was pretty easy to say ‘yes’ to.
The people you went over with, what were they like and were they all Tranmere supporters?
Most of them were Rovers supporters and from when we signed up to the trip there was a few information evenings and time to get to know the group. Most of them were Tranmere supporters but if they weren’t they would be connected to the club in the form of their friend or family being a supporter so there was always something to talk about. There was an instant gelling when we went over to Ghana as we were all part of the same group.
How great would you say your time was over there? What activities did you do and what places did you see? Also, what was it like to meet the Ghanaian people?
The overall objective was to have a good impact in the area that we were based. The group we travelled over with were split up into three different schools and we met Burton Albion’s community trust who had also travelled over there. The school I went to was called Woe E.P Basic School and the two other groups were sent to schools in nearby villages.
At the school, we painted and renovated the classrooms which helped the teachers and the Burton Albion group helped the construction team with their buildings. The first big event we did happened as soon as we landed in Accra and Idrissu, who many Tranmere supporters will know from social media, was waiting outside the airport for us in his Rovers shirt and scarf which was a nice touch. It was a little bit surreal to meet him.
How good was it to see the Ghanian children that you did? There are a few great photos of them with Tranmere shirts on.
Again, it was surreal. They were crazy in terms of their enthusiasm and happiness, it was great to see. What we’d class as basic was met with so much enthusiasm there. For example, we’d kick a football around and they’d be going mad. There’s a video of me picking up a bean bag and the whole school was running after me. I’m sure the people who are going next year will experience the same thing and that is something that they should massively look forward to. When we left the school, we gave them mini eggs and it almost caused a riot with enthusiasm and that certainly wouldn’t happen in England.
Is this trip something that you’d like to go on again?
Yeah, it is. They’re in the process of getting the information for next year’s trip together and it seems likely that we’ll be going back to the same villages to continue the great connections that we have with them. It’s important to maintain the partnership and aim to make it that bit stronger.
When you were talking to Idrissu and others that live over there, did they mention any plans to come and experience life here?
They didn’t actually say, to be honest. We raised all the money for Idrissu to come over here and come to Prenton Park but then COVID hit and I’m not too sure what happened with that money. However, I’m sure he’d love to come to a Tranmere game one day.
I spoke to the locals about it but it seemed like something that maybe wasn’t possible.
Touching on the Tranmere painting that you and your group completed, how did that come about?
Yeah, that’s interesting as we wouldn’t have done that if they didn’t ask for us to do it as going over there was not about us but about helping to improve the child’s education. However, we were asked to paint it so that they could remember us in that way and the painting is testament to the work that we’ve done out there. The fact that they wanted us to put our name on their school was quite a big statement, I thought, and it shows the affection that we have for them and that they have for us.