42 hours of flight time for 5 days of work, and totally worth it. I’m honored to have been the Communications and Marketing instructor for the FIFA Women’s Com-Unity Seminar in Tanzania in October 2011.
FIFA conducts these seminars to bring together government officials, community leaders, non-government organizations, men’s and women’s football clubs, media partners and marketing sponsors in an effort to develop girls’ and women’s soccer around the world.
Here’s an overview of the schedule in Tanzania. The first day was focused on grassroots football and the impact it can have on social and educational development programs. The second day highlighted the role of the media to create a positive image of the women’s game, and the role of the football association, clubs, coaches and players in promoting women’s football. The third day focused on the marketing and promotion of women’s football and addressed how it can be developed as a product, including opportunities, benefits and expectations from sponsors.
The event was undoubtedly motivational and inspirational, and I recommend you read the entire recap on FIFA.com to learn more about the program including the challenges the TFF faces.
Recently, a woman named Nisha Ligon created a documentary about the team, which I’ve embedded below. This video really takes you into the lives of the players and the Tanzania Women’s Soccer team, and it offers a far better description about the state of women’s soccer in Tanzania than I ever could. If you’ve got a couple minutes it’s well worth watching.
Presenting in Tanzania was a unique experience by which I was truly humbled. I really had to work to understand the context and culture in an effort to effectively share the information I thought would most beneficial to the participants. A heartfelt thanks to my fellow presenters, Ashford Mamelodi from Botswana and Jacqui Shipanga from Namibia, who gave me amazing advice.
I’m thankful to have met wonderful people in Tanzania, and I will never forget the generosity of the Tanzania Football Federation during my first trip to Africa. And thanks to FIFA Women’s Football Development Manager Mayi Turner-Kerr (Cruz Blanco) for inviting me on this trip. Here’s to the continued growth and development of girls and women’s soccer in Tanzania, and around the world.
I’ve posted a couple photos from the week below, enjoy!
Participants at the FIFA Women’s Com-Unity Seminar in Tanzania.
The FIFA team – Mayi, Ashford, Jacqui and me putting the finishing touches on our conclusions and recommendations slide.
Presenting on Day 2. Topic: Communications.
FIFA Instructor and Head Women’s Coach of the Namibia Women’s Soccer Team, Jacqui Shipanga, speaks with the Tanzanian players.
FIFA Development Manager Mayi Cruz Blanco presented gifts to all the figureheads who attended the Seminar.
FIFA Development Officer in charge of East/South Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, speaks to the participants.
The captain of the Tanzania Women’s Football Team, Sophia Mwasikili, shares her experiences as a member of the team.
Jacqui asks, “Everybody who has a cell phone with Internet service, please hold them up.”
The Tanzania Football Coaches Coaches Association.
Ashford, Jacqui and me on the last day of the Seminar.