Thursday, 14 February 2013

Ten Reasons To Get Behind The East Africa Cup

The East Africa Cup is a sporting, cultural and educational gathering held annually in Moshi, Tanzania. This June (2013) the EAC will be celebrating its 10th birthday. We are looking for sponsors for the event, so we thought it was a good time to tell you about some of the reasons why we think you should get behind the East Africa Cup.

1) Girls' Sport
Some people think that girls shouldn’t do sport. We believe the opposite. We think that it can improve the health, well being and confidence of girls. We also think that when boys and men realise that women can do sport, they can take them seriously in other arenas too. 

2) Cultural Exchange
For the majority of the young participants, it’s their first experience of foreign travel. In itself this can be a great experience, especially as in some of the countries and regions in East Africa there is a history of conflict. For some youngsters, it's their first time outside of their city. People get to learn each other's songs and dances during the cultural programme, and interfaith dialogue is promoted throughout. People make friends and work together with people from other countries.

3) Education

In some countries, football players don't bother with school. But each morning of the East Africa Cup starts with classes in topics like conflict resolution, leadership skills and first aid. Teachers, coaches and leaders also attend masterclasses, and return to their communities with new skills.

4) Impact
The East Africa Cup has changed many lives. One teenager at the event, who was born with HIV, explained how the Kicking Aids Out seminars affected him: "The level of naivety regarding HIV/AIDS amongst youths in my community is incredibly high. This puts the young people of my area in a very high-risk category. The information they require in most cases is not available through school or from their parents, and many young people rely on the excuse that the system has failed them; I would like to EMPOWER young people, my peers, to realise that it is both their right and responsibility to be informed about HIV and AIDS. The inspiration of [the] East Africa Cup has lead me to want to help transform youths through sports." 

5) Health Benefits
This isn't about producing elite athletes, but of course all that running around is healthy. And through seminars in topics like first aid and AIDS prevention, young people go back to their communities with a healthier attitude. 

6) Youth Leaders
The main aim of the East Africa Cup has always been to 'empower youth through sport'. Practically this means giving them the chance to become leaders - both today and tomorrow. We don't just mean leaders on the pitch: participants have gone on to coach younger teams, organise environmental tidy up groups in their own community, and become youth leaders themselves after their time at the East Africa Cup.

7) Volunteerism
The EAC is powered by volunteers, most of them from East Africa itself, although we do appreciate our foreign guests who come to share the experience. If you feel like you have something to give, get in touch.

8) Referees
OK, not everybody likes referees. But we do need them. At the EAC, we plan to train 50 of them. We're particularly proud of one ex- EAC ref who went on to become the first female Kenyan Premier League referee, and CAAF commissioner - the person in charge of international football matches. We think she's a great role model. Hear her speak:

9) Famous Fans
Maybe you don't believe us? high profile supporters like South Sudanese rapper Emannual Jal, Celtic footballer Victor Wanyama and former world champion athlete Wilson Kipketer all support the East Africa Cup:

10) It's Fun
People enjoy the East Africa Cup - the dancing, the video-making, the football, the street theatre. Is that a good enough reason to get involved?

Are you interested in supporting the East Africa Cup? We are looking for East African sports teams with a year-round commitment to their community, sponsors, volunteers, spectators, and journalists. Please get in touch:

Have you been to the East Africa Cup? Tell us why people should support it on the Facebook Page:

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