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East Africa, here we come!

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East Africa, here we come!

"You are not just representing SCORE, but Zambia as a whole" were the words of encouragement fifteen year old Alice Sitali received from her parents and teachers, as she prepares the U16 girls football team from SCORE Zambia for the East Africa Cup 2011 in Moshi, Tanzania.

The girls are the only team from Zambia to qualify for the international tournament and will challenge teams from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. As captain of the U16 girls' team, Alice is responsible for organising training every week and maintaining spirit within the group. "We believe in ourselves and are more than ready to take on any team", she says.

The East Africa Cup is an international tournament that provides active youth with the opportunity to travel and meet like-minded peers to celebrate sport and culture. Alice says she is "Looking forward to meeting new people, a good performance and making SCORE proud in Tanzania".

This union of sport and culture can be similarly found in SCORE’s Cup of Heroes programme, which is how Alice first got involved with SCORE in 2009. "Since attending an Active Youth course through my school, I have been involved in all SCORE activities in my community. The East Africa Cup training has been a bonus for us as a team, the training has made us know one another even better" she continues.

The participation of girls teams in the U16 category at this year’s event almost doubles that of the boys entries, and Chairman of the Organisation Committee for East Africa Cup George Kamau says, "Looking at the trend of girls teams from 2004, I would say we are doing great".

The increase of girls participating in football can see seen across other SCORE entities too. In South Africa, under the Leading The Game programme, girls' participation in football has seen a steady increase through outreach programmes.

In Namibia, the partnership with the Namibian Football Association in the Galz and Goals project has also brought a considerable number of girls into the game through school programmes.

Alice relates the power of sport and importance of the tournament by saying that "Football has really taught me so many things: to be disciplined, to get focused in life and I have come to understand that I can be the person I want to be in life".

Through training with her team, which comprises of players from different communities, training for East Africa Cup has meant Alice is able to reinforce her training from SCORE programmes. "I have learned new tactics and lessons and new life skills".

SCORE wishes the girls the best of luck!

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Article type

News

Author

Mel Paramasivan

Published

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 10:30