Coaches Across Continents interviews Nico: A Tanzanian’s View of Ghana

IMG_0507April 24, 2013. A Question & Answer with Nicholaus Achimpota, our first-ever Community Impact Coach.  The concept of our Community Impact Coach program is simple.  Some of the best and brightest coaches in our partner-program network have applied to work alongside CAC coaches as we travel to communities outside of their own.   We believe that these local coaches have a tremendous amount of knowledge to transmit to fellow sport for social impact communities as well as learn from other communities within the CAC network.  They will bring back what they have learned to their home communities.  Coach Nico traveled from his home community of Chamwino, Tanzania to work our three April programs in Ghana.  Here are his answers to some questions we posed to him at the end of his three week assignment.

Q: What does it mean to you to be a Community Impact Coach:

A: To come to Ghana to coach another coach outside of my country… This is a special thing to me because it has built my confidence.

Q: What did people say in Tanzania when you told them you were coming to work with Coaches Across Continents?

A: Before I came here, I met with the press about our trip to Ghana with the Tanzanian Broadcast Corporation (TBC).  We advertised that Coaches Across Continents had selected me for an Impact Coach.  It is the first time for a Tanzanian coach to go abroad and train other coaches in a top-ranking [soccer] country [Ghana].  So people in Tanzania ask themselves, “Why is Nico is going to Ghana?”  I answer, “I’m going to coach the coaches, using soccer for social impact.  We are teaching soccer but we are also teaching social development, so there is a message.”

Q: Describe your work as a Community Impact Coach with CAC. IMG_0498

A: My job is to learn the Coaches Across program and how it is used in different Ghana communities.  It helped me because now I can use that curriculum to use in my coaching career when I am back in Tanzania.  Now it is easy to develop that curriculum in my country in the four districts where I am: Geita, Kigoma/Ujiji, Chamwino, and Njombe town.

Q: How has it helped you as a coach?

A: If you are a coach, every day you are a student, so you need to learn new knowledge from other coaches.  So I learned so many things from my colleague coaches who are working together to run the program for Coaches Across.  So for me, it is very good because there are so many things new to me when we are running the program: to be on time, to organize the program, how to meet with a big number of teachers, and how to relate between soccer and social development.

Q: How has being in Ghana helped you develop as a person?

A: As a person, I am from Tanzanian which speaks Swahili.  The Ghana languages [Twi and Fanti] and English are spoken here.  It is my first time to go abroad and train other people in another language other than Swahili.  So each day I must learn and get better in another language and teach outside of Swahili.

Q: What are your views of Ghana?

A: I like to be in Ghana.  I enjoy the peaceful country.  The community is very good.  But also the person who organizes the program, I appreciate that they are good people and they are working hard.

Q: What was the favorite place you visited in Ghana

A: Accra.  I like that you can walk at any time in safety.

IMG_1087Q: What have you learned that you can bring back to Tanzania?

A:  In Tanzania I want to bring back and start a U12, U15, and U17 leagues and U17 and U20 Women’s leagues which I have seen in Ghana.  In Ghana there is a big number for participants.  It is my work to encourage my four communities to add number of teachers and coaches who participate in our training programs.  For the four District Sports Officers, to do monitoring and evaluation, at least to meet with the teachers one day per month to see what is going on in their area.  This would be good.  It would be my job to follow up with these teachers to make sure they are implementing.  We learn the knowledge, but we need to bring back to the kids and our future children.

I also want to have a tournament in Tanzania for multiple communities at one locale to share ideas and coaching styles.  It is important because it will encourage the coaches to develop our curriculum.  Right now it is one coach traveling.  So now the coaches can travel and share ideas and that is an incentive since maybe they can travel and we can meet together.

Q: What messages have you told the coaches here in Ghana

A: I told them all that to be Community Impact Coaches you must implement and teach social lessons you are learning.

Q: What information from Tanzania have you been able to share with the coaches in Ghana?

A: I teach them Swahili language in Ghana, like “Simama” (stop) “Karibu” (welcome) and “Njoo hapa” (come

Community Impact Coach Nico from Tanzania loving his time in Ghana!

Community Impact Coach Nico from Tanzania loving his time in Ghana!

here).  I also shared some concentration games.  To prepare the players to concentrate, whether it is in match or training, anywhere is important.

Q: What connections have you made in Ghana?

A: There are different people here.  Not only for the sports activities, but I will use this opportunity to advertise our country for our attraction in the parks, minerals, everything which is available.  One of the businessmen I met is very interested to come to Tanzania for minerals.  I also meet with two [other] businessmen who own a team so maybe we make a good relationship between our region and their team.  So we are start talking, and you never know for the future.

Q: What was your favorite thing to do socially outside of football.

A: To share ideas with different people from a different country.

Q: Why is it important for CAC to have Impact Coaches?

A:  It is important to be an impact coach because it will attract other coaches to develop the CAC programs in their country and maybe they will be selected from their country to be an Impact Coach like Nico from Tanzania.

Q: Favorite moment in Ghana:

A:  To eat banku and Tilapia.  Also meeting GFA people and training members of the U17 national team, meeting former Black Star players, current women’s players and the current women’s national team Coach Dadzie.

Q: Any other favorite moments or activities you did?

A: I got two jerseys as gifts from the Ghana coaches, one from Hearts of Oak and another for Asante Kotoko.  They were rewards and coaches appreciated my hard work as a Tanzanian coach.  I know Asante Kotoko before I come here because many years ago the Young Africans (team from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) – they played in African Cup against Asante Kotoko.  Both matches were draws.  That was historical in Tanzania, so they did a coin toss and Kotoko won and advanced.  That’s why I knew Asante Kotoko.

Coach Nico has landed safely back in Tanzania and is already following up on the relationships he started, and planning to implement what he learned and transmitting this knowledge to his fellow sports officers in Tanzania.  We will visit with Nico again in November when our CAC programs are run on-site in his home country.

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3 Comments on “Coaches Across Continents interviews Nico: A Tanzanian’s View of Ghana”

  1. Onai April 24, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    Great stuff guys, this is really good.

  2. faisal April 24, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Good work pals…thanks for coming!

  3. Melanie Baskind April 25, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    GO NICO!!!!

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