Johnbosco in Tanzania – Lucky Johnbosbo went to the beautiful country of Tanzania for an evaluation of the situation.
Our Regional Development Officer wanted to meet the current and former officials of Arusha Rugby Club and Tanzania Rugby Union. He also wanted to assess the rugby development activities going on in Arusha, Tanzania.
It was established that rugby in Tanzania has been for a long period and continues to be in the hands of experts working in the country mainly in the towns of Arusha, Moshi and Dar es Salaam. A number of officials and players who have been running the union have either retired from active rugby or relocated.
Previously, there were four clubs from which players were drawn to form the national team. Currently, the two clubs of Arusha Rhinos and Dar Leopards are the most active. However, the teams have a bigger percentage of experts than locals.
A keen interest in the game has been noticed among the locals. Development activities have been initiated in Arusha, Moshi and Tanga. These activities have focused mainly on rugby in schools and communities. Similar programmes have been started in Dar es Salaam but it is Arusha that has been most active through the Arusha Rugby Development Programme (ARDP), a programme that is supported by volunteers from the Arusha Rhinos Rugby Club. These activities target ages 7 to 14 years in primary schools then ages 13 to 18 in secondary schools. The players compete in 7 and 10 a-side tournaments locally. Players have also had a chance to participate in tournaments in Reading, UK and Eldoret, in Kenya.
A festival was held on the 10th of December where matches were organized for under 12s, under 15s, under 18s and one senior match featuring Arusha Rhinos versus Dar Leopards. The age – grade tournament involved teams from Arusha, Moshi, Tanga and an invited team from Nairobi. Both boys and girls were involved in the under 12 tag rugby. Under 18 matches exposed Tanzanian athletes with potential of developing to sevens players.
A meeting was held between committee members of Arusha Rugby Club and RDO.
Outcomes of the meeting
- The club officials expressed commitment to continue supporting development activities
- The development officer to formalize existing centres in Arusha and assign volunteers to train kids in schools and surrounding communities.
- Volunteers to be supported through provision of transport to and from venues and meals while training kids. The option of buying bicycles for the volunteers to be explored.
- Short-term goal is to have touch rugby as an event in primary schools competitions and sevens and / or tens in secondary schools
- Long-term goals :
- (a) focus on seven a – side rugby at senior level to spread the game within communities and gain regional presence.
- (b) many locals play for the Arusha Club.
- Private schools willing to partner with Rugby Africa to facilitate training of officials by providing venues.
- Government sports officer to be consulted for further support
- Individuals reluctant to take up responsibilities as union officials
Rugby Africa considerations
- Arusha could serve as a good model to re-introduce then spread GIR to other regions within the country.
- Training of personnel (level 1 coaches and match officials / teachers & volunteers for GIR) would be necessary.
- Initiate a process to reactivate the union Report prepared by Johnbosco Muamba Rugby Africa RDO (south)