Acacia, Sunderland form talent search partnership

01Apr 2016
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Acacia, Sunderland form talent search partnership

GOLD mining firm Acacia, yesterday announced its two years partnership with English Premier League (EPL) side Sunderland AFC to unearth sports talents in the Lake Zone area.

Deo Mwanyika

Deo Mwanyika who is vice president of Acacia firm hailed the partnership saying it will help to unearth new sports talents in the country.

Mwanyika said under the partnership Sunderland FC will be working with local football clubs in Lake Zone areas of Kahama and Tarime district for a period of eight to 10 weeks a year under the Maendeleo Fund.

He said the EPL under the partnership will drill 25 local sports coaches in the zone.

He said the partnership is one of the many community development programs his company is conducting in its three mines in the country and also the event marks the birth of new talent identification in the country.

“We understand the importance of early education and talent building let it be in the classroom or on the football pitch, we see this program providing that opportunity for our young to learn from proffestionals at the same time develop their passion and talent in football, we all know how important football can be for helping developing key life skills”, he says.

He described the partnership as very unique in the sense that a top EPL club will be working directly with rural young people.

“We at Acacia believes that this paternership with Sunderland AFC will unearth players who will one day play in a top local football league and even a top world football club”, he said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Graham Robinson who is Sunderland FC head of international football development said as a club, they are thrilled to further build strong links with Tanzania.

“We already implemented a number of significant community-based work across Africa, with particular emphasis on Tanzania and the club is making great progress in developing its international reputation, building these positive relationships, from both a business and community perspective”, he said.

Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president Jamal Malinzi thanked Acacia and Sunderland AFC for the partnership which he said will help to develop sport in the country.

He said the partnership has come at the right time when the country is preparing to host the 2019 Africa Youth Championships and he also urged the two to involve TFF when conducting the coaches training so that participants can graduate with certificates recognised by CAF and FIFA.

The partnership is meant to help promote football and netball from the grassroots level in the lake zone area, however very surprising there was no any official from the netball governing body (CHANETA).

Officials of CHANETA could not be reached when we wanted to know from them on why they did not attend such an important occasion.