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Whistle signals start of East Africa Cup

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Whistle signals start of East Africa Cup

Commencing 4 days of football competition and learning, the 10th East Africa Cup opened Tuesday evening to a brass band and inspiring words.

Although events have been happening in Moshi, Tanzania for the past few days, the competition was officially opened tonight with the help of the local police brass band, not quite the typical start to a youth football competition.

Not your typical football tournament
But then again the East Africa Cup (EAC) is not your typical youth football event. Drawing in competitors from the entire East Africa region, the event aims to promote unity by bringing people together.

A previous event saw a Rwandan team with both Hutus and Tutsis playing alongside each other. Further, a young player played alongside the son of the man who killed his father. As a young adult now, he has returned to the EAC to volunteer his media skills in one of the many courses offered alongside the football.

Ten strong years
In opening this year's event, EAC founder, Svein Olsen reflected that during the past ten years over 15,000 child and youth have participated at the EAC, going home with knowledge, friendships and a sense of solidarity. He went on to encourage this year's participants, "This year it's your turn. You can learn. You can build friendships. And you can learn solidarity"

The Tanzanian Director of Sports, who has been supporting the event for its duration, spoke of it as more than sports. He highlighted that it also develops cooperation and raises awareness around issues such as HIV, child protection and re-integration. To a loud round of applause he reminded us that sport and play is a right of all children.

Bjarte Oen, of the EAC organising committee, spoke of the events key value of fair play, reminding participants to look after each other on and off the field.

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Article type

News

Author

Matthew Ruuska

Published

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 23:00