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Sporting Victories!

The past few weeks have included a few sporting victories, either playing or watching.

Firstly, as you may have seen on Facebook, I went to Arusha as part of our Mwanza Tossers Ultimate Frisbee team to compete in the East Africa Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. It was only a small scale tournament with just 4 teams taking part: ourselves (Mwanza), Arusha, Moshi and Nairobi. Nevertheless it was still really good fun to play and meet players from different teams around the region.

The Mwanza Tossers in our Home kit

The Mwanza Tossers in our Home kit

Over the 2 day competition we won, not losing a game the entire time! I was nominated captain for the tournament which was a learning experience for me and involved finding out rules, checking on contentious issues, team selection and a post tournament media interview! The first day was a round robin competition where we played Arusha (13-3), Moshi (13-3) and Nairobi (9-4). Nairobi was by far the most testing encounter but did end up at just 5-a-side due to injuries! In the semi final draw Moshi had decided to withdraw but another Arusha team was formed so we played Arusha A in the semis (13-2) and Nairobi progressed against Arusha B (13-0). The final was a close, tense affair ending 8-8 after normal time and despite some mistakes that I’m sure would not have happened in any other game, we ended up victorious 10-9 in sudden death! As winners we received commemorative t-shirts of the event but no trophy (good job as we don’t have a cabinet to keep it in). Very pleased with the tossers first ever tournament victory but we still have a lot to learn to play to the true ultimate spirit of the game. Most likely because our practices are such friendly affairs we never particularly practice in a competitive environment to refine our knowledge of the rules and correct procedures.

East Africa Frisbee Winners

Showing off our winners t-shirts

East Africa Frisbee Final

Both Teams together after the final

Frisbee Field Panorama

Day 2 Field Panorama

Overall the visit to Arusha was a fun experience: The bus journey there (11 hours – 6AM – 5PM) was good. I definately recommend ‘Bestline’ as one of the best lines with actual person sized seats and no breakdowns! I was glad to only need the toilet at the right time during our only 10 minute break and managed to sleep for an estimated 70% of the journey which I was pleased with. The bus back with a different company was a little more squashed but still no breakdowns so was more than happy! I think the local buses are fine here as long as you just accept you are going to lose a day travelling, but find the right bus and get lucky and it is fine.

Arusha itself was a nice place to spend a few days. I really enjoyed having views of the 4,565 metre (14,977 ft) Mt. Meru  towering over the city and I did manage to get up one day to see the summit and side of the mountain peeking through the cloud. This is Tanzania’s second highest peak after Kilimanjaro and one I would consider climbing some day. The rest of Arusha felt quite organised compared to Mwanza, again there was a good size supermarket, good quality roads, and a few bars to celebrate and watch football in! I guess it is much more set up for tourists than Mwanza is at the moment so needs to have a little more organisation. Even the guest house we stayed in which was a worryingly low 5000 TSH a night (£2) was fine with a comfortable (if you are my height) bed, hot shower and clean (albeit longdrop) toilets.

Arusha Guest House

Guest House where we stayed

Mt Meru from Arusha

The towering Mt Meru seen from near our guest house

Finally, I kept meaning to mention that I saw my first international game here! The CCM Kirumba stadium here hosted the international friendly between Tanzania and Kenya. Prior to the game our TSC Academy U17 team had a game against another local academy which we unfortunately lost but it was great for the boys to precede an international game! I wasn’t expecting much from Tanzania but they pulled out an excellent 1-0 victory and gave me hope for the future with some excellent performances in a sturdy defence and a couple of players with some serious gas in attack! So overall, a good couple of weeks for sporting victories – although for the third time Derby have been on TV here -vs Birmingham this time I managed to miss it again! Maybe next time, although most likely I will be doing busy, my phone won’t be working to find out it’s on, or some other cruel twist will make it not possible…..

TZ v Kenya

Line-ups for Tanzania v Kenya – on the day of international friendlies when England played Sweden