ISF’s New Sport Court
March 17th 2017. We are delighted to congratulate our long-term Cambodian partner Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) on their new Sport Court thanks to Connor Sport Court and Beyond Sport (with a recommendation from CAC)!
The brand new futsal court was installed at their new football facility outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It will be used by ISF to continue to empower disadvantaged children in the community through sport and education. They celebrated the new court by hosting a ribbon-cutting opening ceremony and football competition with more than 600 children in the U-14 and U-10 age categories. They also included an inspiring demonstration with vision-impaired youth playing futsal with special “chirping” footballs.
Coaches Across Continents has partnered with ISF to help them develop their capacity for educating youth through sport for 4 years including filming our documentary from there in 2015. It is always incredibly special to see our partners grow and better offer high quality programs for their community. We can’t wait to see the new court in person when we return to Phnom Penh in August this year.
This is the second Connor Sport Court we have helped our partners receive and build following the court in Kigoma, Tanzania. Thanks to Connor Sport Court for their ongoing commitment to building the capacity of organizations involved in sport for social change.
Court Storming in Kigoma!
August 2, 2013. Kigoma, Tanzania holds a special place for Coaches Across Continents. It is the site of our first-ever program in 2008, the start of the Hat Trick Initiative in 2009, and the recipient of a Beyond Sport award which donated and installed a multi-purpose sports court in 2011. Maybe it is the water in Lake Tanganyika but something keeps CAC coming back to this rural community on the western edge of Tanzania. This is our sixth consecutive year here, making it a Double Hat Trick Initiative.
Community Impact Coach Nico Achimpota (the former Sports Officer in Kigoma/Ujiji) and Coach Brian spent five days training teachers and children on the sport court on the grounds of Katubuka Primary School. Each morning 36 teachers arrived early to learn this year’s games. The CAC curriculum is so vast that we taught almost all new games to this year’s group. Some of the teachers were in their first training session while others were reunited with Brian who was here last in 2010. Even a mutatu conductor leaned out his window when he saw Nico and Brian and shouted “Coaches!, Karibu! (welcome).” The enthusiasm for Coaches Across Continents is great once again with private meetings with the Honorable Mayor, Sports Officer, and numerous other dignitaries to see how we can continue progressing forward in this District.
However the highlight of the week were the afternoon training sessions where 100+ boys and girls chanted “Mingle, Mingle, Mingle!” as we strolled up. If you don’t know, Mingle Mingle is one of our catchier problem solving games that we teach at each location. With such a large group of children, Brian and Nico spent some afternoons teaching Marta (dribbling) and Ronaldo (moves) with the benefit of 20 One World Futbols. It was one of the first times that the children had quality individual time on the ball to practice their skills and work on finding their voice and confidence. Hopefully this lack of equipment will change in the near future as One World Futbol has committed to donating over 15,000 balls to the CAC Districts in Tanzania which will benefit over 1300 schools. Before we left, Coaches Across left the group of One World Futbols to be used by any group who is using the sport court. This combination of equipment and CAC curriculum training is the best way at ensuring a potential social impact.
On the last afternoon we held a 6v6 tournament. The passion at the World Cup could not match what we saw after each goal. Little children, big children, and even Nico stormed the court every time there was a goal scored. This might have delayed the ensuing kickoff but it made for a memorable afternoon and some great pictures. At the end of a tough three weeks for Nico and Brian (who have trained 200 teachers and coaches in four locations) it was the perfect way to put huge smiles on our faces to see such unbridled joy. Maybe that is the reason CAC keeps coming back here.
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
Kigoma – A successful Hat-Trick Initiative creating locally owned, sustainable community programs.
The new Sport Court is going down in Kigoma, Tanzania
Day 3 in Kigoma and things are going great! After a few days in Dar es Salaam, working to get flights out to Kigoma, we finally made it here. Nestled between the mountains and breathtaking Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma is a small but busy town with everyone happily calling hello to the three “Mzungu” (white people) who have just arrived. As in all new places, it took us a little while to get our bearings and locate the people helping with our project. Not much English is spoken here, which made the task more challenging, but that much more exciting when we found our way.
Yesterday started with a trip to the local government headquarters and, after many miming attempts and several dozen dead-ends, we finally found the city’s Municipal Director and Director of Sport who were all too welcoming and excited to have us there. Even more surprising was when the Mayor of Kigoma and Ujiji, an energetic, jolly man came to meet us and take us ‘personally’ to see the progress of the Sport Court, the project that Coaches Across Continents has been working to build for over a year. We were delighted to see the progress when we arrived at the site. The field had been measured, leveled, compressed, and covered in small stones. The penultimate step, laying of concrete, began this morning and we watched as workers mixed, poured, and smoothed cement into the first measured squares. A tremendous amount of manual labor has gone into building this field and it’s very exciting to see how Coaches Across Continents is creating jobs for dozens of people and their families and leaving behind a pretty impressive legacy.
The site is right in front of Katubuka Primary School, the main elementary school in Kigoma and Ujiji, and hundreds of children came running out at recess to catch a glimpse of the rare “Mzungu.” They all laughed good naturedly at our attempts at Swahili and were delighted when we brought out a soccer ball. We played with the children, passing, throwing and heading the ball around, trying to include everyone. Most of the girls were shy at first but soon became some of the most enthusiastic players. I was particularly excited by their enthusiasm and willingness to participate, as one of my primary goals here is to work on improving female empowerment by getting the girls more involved in soccer.
Colin, Nate, and I are all so excited to be here to help and oversee the building of Kigoma’s first artificial playing surface, which will be a safe place for children to play soccer, basketball, netball, and volleyball. We will keep you updated as progress continues. Thank you again so much for all of your help and support.
Jessica, Colin, 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.