School sport competitions in Tanzania put learners back on track
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Leonardo Tadayo, Director of the Ministry of Sport and Culture in Tanzania, comments on the reintroduction of national sports competitions and how tournaments such as East Africa Cup (EAC), which concluded in Tanzania last week, can help promote education. 

Whilst observing pre-match activities during the morning seminars at this year's East Africa Cup, Leonardo spoke to sportanddev about the power of tournaments which bring together young people: “This tournament [East Africa Cup] is not only an opportunity for young people to meet and discuss issues, but evidence that youth can come together to achieve something.”

School sport in Tanzania
National School Sport competitions were abolished in 2001 but were reintroduced in 2009. “Competitions are a motivator and can help motivate children to stay in school, ” said Leonard, himself a keen sportsman. The government's reintroduction of school sport was recently reported on allAfrica.com

Impact on learning
“We are taking people from schools and making them learn through sport and as a result, school attendance increases and encourages young people and raises there performace at school,” he said.  

This is supported by a recent evaluation conducted by Regional education Officers, who found “In regions where sport participation is high, academic performance was also high.”

Importance of youth in Tanzania
Leonardo believes the role of youth is not be underestimated: “Youth are the backbone of each nation and in most African Nations, budgets are encouraging NGOs to bring sport into the communities and engage them in activities.”

Support for EAC

“This is a top event in Africa that brings youth together in this environment. The biggest challenge is sustainability, and finding funding from within. The is an important platform for sport and development which we cannot deny young people,” said Leonardo.  

About East Africa Cup
The East Africa Cup (EAC) is a youth football tournament for both boys and girls between and including the ages 12–16 held annually in the last week of June in Moshi, Kilimanjaro-Tanzania. The tournament is organised by four partner organisations namely; Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA), KRIK Norway, CHRISC, Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA). EAC is inspired by Norway cup which has had a similar event running for the last 30 years, only on a much larger scale of over 1500 teams from all around the world.

Find out more about EAC 2012


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