Friday, May 20, 2011

American football clinic thrills Arusha youths

From MARC NKWAME in Arusha, 19th May 2011 @ 12:00

MORE than 1,000 local students from various schools in Arusha had a chance to play American football alongside teams from the United States and Mexico that have just jetted in town for the ‘Global Kilimanjaro Bowl’ event.

“It is a dream come true, imagine three different nationalities, USA, Mexico and Tanzania brought together by the American football, this is more than just sports, this is a cultural melting pot and we are proud of this,” said Patrick Steenberge, the President of Global Football, the organisers of the event.

He stated that before and after the Kilimanjaro Bowl, scheduled for next Saturday Afternoon at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, players from both teams, along with coaches and staff, are going to make a difference in Tanzania.

“We have already conducted the first youth football clinics at the TGT grounds in Burka, these training sessions will go on for two days; Thursday and Friday before we move to the town stadium for the actual game on Saturday,” said Steenberge.

The Drake University team will play in the first-ever American-style football game in Africa against the CONADEIP All-Stars from Mexico in the inaugural Global Kilimanjaro Bowl, a game that kicks off at about 1.00 pm that Saturday afternoon and climax at 4.30.

Reflecting the stadium event the two teams will also compete on scaling Mount Kilimanjaro using different routes on their trekking expedition.

They will rendezvous at the summit with each squad staking its respective nation’s flag at the peak.

“This is just incredible, from the moment we landed at the Kilimanjaro Airport the air was charged with anticipation, it is indeed a dream come true,” Drake head coach Chris Creighton said, adding that the event is worth the amount of work that so many people have done to accomplish.

The delegation of 195 people landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport aboard the Royal Dutch Airline (KLM) at about 11.00 pm, on Wednesday night. They will spend an entire week in Tanzania.

The teams will also work on building projects for local orphanages in Moshi from next Sunday and Monday before embarking on a five-day Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expedition where they intend to raise flags from US, Mexico and Drake University.

In between their itinerary the delegation will also visit the Tarangire National park. The head coach Chris Creighton adds; “I truly believe the service projects will be the best part of the entire trip, for a lot of reasons,” he said.

“We’re all people, but when you’re in a different culture and people do things differently, it has a chance to rock your world.”

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