SATURDAY November 11, 2023
By Patty Magubira
The Tranquility News Reporter, Tanzania
A Zanzibar football academy, which shares a sir name with the Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan, will appear for the first time in the East African Chipkizi Cup tournament slated for December 11 -17 north of the country.
Suluhu Football Academy Head Coach and Coordinator, Suluhu Hassan, says three categories, namely under 15, 17 and 20, will join the tournament, closing slots for teams interested in taking part in the 14th edition of the sporting event.
According to Arusha-based Future Stars Academy, the organisers of the tournament, over 300 football teams from eastern, central and southern Africa will take part in the event held in Arusha, Tanzania, annually.
Suluhu Football Academy, which nurtures talented young players in the Spice Islands, dates back to 2000.
“Currently, the academy boasts accommodating 80 gifted children,” says Hassan, the founder of the academy, who is President Samia’s kin.
“I am grateful to see local teams seizing the opportunity for showcasing the local youth’s talents before the global renowned scouts and sports agents,” the CEO and founder of the Future Stars Academy, Coach Alfred Itael, says.
Over 20 coaches and scouts have so far confirmed participation in the East African Chipkizi Cup tournament with an eye of recruiting young talented players to join their football academies abroad and overseas.
They are from United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Macedonia, Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Malawi.
“In total, the Chipkizi East African youth tournament will draw more than 10,000 people, implying that it will significantly stimulate sports tourism and local economy. However, for it to be successful, we need a helping hand in terms of sponsorship,” say Coach Itael, explaining that his academy has to mobilise over $11,000 before the tournament kicks off in a three-week’s time.
“I’m on my way to Dar es Salaam to engage the management of Azam Media to see if they can give a helping hand,” Coach Itael explains.
A number of teams from Kenya, Uganda, DRC Congo, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Japan, Zanzibar and the host Tanzania Mainland have been participating in the tournament in the past 14 years, with some of talented youth recruited elsewhere.
The Tanzania’s Taifa Stars player Novatus Dismass, who was spotted during the tournament, is currently playing Champions League football for Shakatar Donestk, the team that defeated Barcelona FC in the group stage recently.
Billed to attract over 300 teams of sports academies from east, central and southern Africa, and 10,000 other stakeholders, the tournament’s economic multiplier effects in sports tourism to local communities ahead of the festive season is significant.