Ace Africa and Future Stars Academy (FSA) held an exciting press briefing in Arusha on Wednesday, 15 January to kick off the “Ace Future Stars Football League” serving disadvantaged girls and boys in rural Arusha district. The speakers, representing Ace, FSA and other league partners, spoke about the unique opportunity presented by the league with its aim to bring quality football training and sporting excellence to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged children in Tanzania. The speakers highlighted the strong collaboration between schools, civil society, government and the corporate sector in the creation of the league.
Joanna Waddington, founder and country director of Ace Africa, emphasized that the partnership between FSA and Ace Africa demonstrates the importance of collaboration between NGOs and Civil Society players to target the most vulnerable in a culturally sensitive manner through the long term development work of Ace Africa and the skills and experience of FSA. Alfred Itaeli, founder and director of FSA, shared his hope that the pilot project will be the start of many such football leagues across the country, reaching the most vulnerable children through Ace Africa in remote, rural areas who otherwise would remain marginalised. Glen Pierce, Head of Sport at Eton College, detailed his experiences from his first day at one of the participating schools and the sheer joy and enthusiasm he observed in the kids when playing football.
In addition to speakers from Ace Africa, FSA and Eton College, the following individuals from partners/supporters of the league spoke about their high hopes for its success and expansion: Navraj Hans, Director of Safarihub, Joyce Kallaghe, the wife of the High Commissioner of Tanzania in the United Kingdom, Sara Kibwana, Arusha District Education Officer, and Ally Mtumwa, the Northern Zone Instructor for the Tanzania Football Federation. It was a special honor to have Ms. Kallaghe in attendance and the strong support of the High Commission for Tanzania in London.
The Eton boys are having an amazing trip in Tanzania so far. Please do take a look at Glen Pierce’s fantastic blog, where you can follow all their latest football news.
Let the games begin!