Nico leads in Geita, Tanzania
November 27, 2012: It was a week of battling the elements for Marisa, Emily, and Melanie in Geita, Tanzania! The trio spent the week transitioning inside and outside of classrooms in unison with the rain, and spent a day in bed after coming down with food poisoning one night. This unfortunate event actually turned into the highlight of the week, as their Tanzanian coordinator Nico was able to take over the program for the day Nico was CAC’s first contact in Africa in 2008, and has been crucial to the program’s success in not just Tanzania, but all over the world. More than well equipped with three plus years of experience with the CAC curriculum, he was able to mix in some of his own coaching pointers so that the 36 Geita coaches never skipped a beat.
The girls were able to pick up right where they left off, though they avoided the vegetable curry for the remainder of their stay. The last day of the program also provided a good deal of memories, as Nico was able to coordinate with the Executive Director to get his
signature on the coaches’ certificates. Upon arriving at the field for the closing ceremony, the staff was thrilled to find the group of girls they had trained in the afternoon all week hard at work with one of the program’s third-year coaches. Marisa, Emily, and Melanie were each given a beautiful blue patterned “kanga” fabric as a parting
gift, and were sad to say goodbye when the time came for the bus to
Our 2nd Year in Geita, Tanzania
May 16th, 2011. Coaches Colin and Jessica
pass the games on to the kids the next morning. Over the course of the week, we worked on everything from teamwork and leadership to HIV awareness and life-skills – all through various soccer drills and games. It was, we believe, an unqualified success – not only were the kids all receptive to the lessons and thoroughly enjoying themselves, but the coaches really seemed to absorb the drills and lessons that we covered. By the time we left Geita, we felt certain that a number of coaches would carry forward the subjects we had worked on, long after our departure.When we weren’t coaching, Jessica, Nate, and I enjoyed trying to blend in with the flow of daily life in Geita,
a small mining town in the northern part of the country. We rented bikes and would commute to and from the fields with the throngs of other bicyclists around the city, ate ugali for lunch, played soccer with a local U17 club team, went to a track meet, and would generally have at least one visitor drop by our hotel each night to chat over a Kilimanjaro beer. Like all the other people we met in Tanzania, the people we met in Geita were incredibly friendly and welcoming. Nothing seemed to delight them more than seeing a trio of Americans sampling their food and attempting to speak their language. By the time we had to leave Geita, we felt like we had made a number of great new friends.
The journey back to the US involved 3 hours in a Landcruiser, 1 hour on a ferry that crossed Lake Victoria, a plane from Mwanza to Dar Es Salaam, and a marathon flight from Dar to JFK through Dubai – but we made it. It feels great to be home, but we’re already nostalgic about our adventure. We couldn’t be happier with our experience in Tanzania. We saw some beautiful parts of the world, met some wonderful people, learned a lot about a fascinating country, and – most importantly – did some things that will hopefully have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact.
Thank you to all who made this trip possible. Your support directly brought so much happiness to, literally, thousands of kids across Tanzania, and it will continue to make a difference for many years.
Opening Ceremony in Kigoma followed by work in Geita
May 6th, 2011. On Saturday we put an exclamation point on our final day in Kigoma as we attended the Opening Ceremony of the SportCourt field at Katubuka Primary School. It was a huge success, with several local politicians in attendance, a good turnout from the district’s media, hundreds of townspeople, and – of -course – the children of Kigoma, who seem to have taken up permanent residence around the perimeter of the court since its completion last week. The ceremony began with some traditional dance from a small group of the Katubuka students, followed by scrimmages of the boys’ and girls’ teams (both matches were decided by tense shootouts, much to the excitement of the crowd). There were then some short speeches, including one from us “mzungus,” and a ceremonial “first kick” from the District Commissioner of Kigoma.
All in all, we couldn’t have had a more positive experience in Kigoma. Everyone we met was incredibly warm and hospitable, and by the end of our stay, we were able to walk around the village and recognize some familiar faces. We also are tremendously pleased with the outcome of the SportCourt – not just because it was completed successfully, but also because of how much the townspeople seemed to appreciate it. Everyone from the Mayor to the Head Teacher to our motorcycle taxi drivers told us how grateful they were to have to SportCourt in the community, so we are confident that it will be treasured for many years to come.
We are now in Geita after a 7.5 hour Landcruiser journey that took us over some beautiful African countryside. After arriving yesterday, we spent most of the afternoon getting our bearings. Today, we coached our first session at the Kalangalala Secondary School, with kids aged 12-17. It was clear that they and their coaches have been practicing many of the drills that last year’s Coaches Across Continents volunteers taught them. There’s as much natural talent and athleticism as there is enthusiasm, so it should be a fun group to work with.
More to come soon!
Colin, Jessica, and Nate
Goals 1,2 and 3: ‘On Field’ Programs begin in Tanzania in April 2011.
Coaches across Continents have selected 3 communities in Tanzania for sport for development work 2011. In Kigoma, Colin and Jessica will develop the new SportCourt facility and run leagues, tournaments and coaching sessions on this amazing facility donated to Coaches across Continents by SportCourt and their partner, Beyond Sport.
The second year of our Hat-trick Initiative will be run in Geita and build on the work of Tracy and Brian from 2010 in a community that has committed to use sport for social development.
And finally, Coaches across Continents have chosen the Chamwino District to start a new Hat-Trick Initiative to build on the work of Nicolaus Achimpota in his new role in this community. Nico was the first coach in Tanzania to use sport for development in his role in Kigoma from 2008-2010 and we are delighted to support his new community.
It will be a fun and challenging time for Colin, Jessica and Nathan traveling and working in Tanzania in communities with unique social challenges.
Coaches across Continents announces 2011 Community Partner Hat-Trick Initiative schedule
“The demand for our program continues to grow and our Business and Coach Advisory Board looked at partnership request applications from more than 50 communities in 26 new countries. We met at the NSCAA Baltimore event to discuss our 2011 schedule and we are excited about working with all our 2011 partners.” Tim Wheaton, Coach Advisory Board
Coaches across Continents will run programs in Botswana, Ghana, India, Israel, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, USA, Zambia and one other country to be chosen by a Hat-Trick partner.
* partnership request applications are still under consideration from Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Holland, Liberia, Nigeria, Panama, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.