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.