Tanzania to host first ever game of American football in Africa


On May 21, 2011 in Arusha’s Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium, the very site where the nation of Tanzania proudly raised its first national flag in 1961, college football teams from the USA and Mexico will compete in front of 15,000 curious fans, for the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl, the very first game of American football on the African continent.

The Global Kilimanjaro Bowl will involve college student athletes from Drake University in Iowa, a Pioneer Conference member, and the CONADEIP Mexico League. For months they have worked to earn the funds to travel halfway around the world to compete on the field, to teach the sport to African children and sports fans, to serve the orphaned youth there through labor-intensive effort, to enjoy the natural wonders of Tarangire National Park, and to challenge themselves to reach the 19,340 feet summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

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“This is a truly groundbreaking and unique overseas visit that will spread the appeal of American football onto the African continent,” said Patrick Steenberge, President of Global Football. “These two teams represent high quality private universities from the United States and Mexico and to be asked to produce the game, tour, and ancillary events is very special. This is more than a football game, which is noteworthy enough, but the teams will also undertake a number of memorable and worthy projects.”

While in Arusha, the safari capital of Tanzania and the base of operations for the entire event, the teams and coaches will have the opportunity to teach 1,600 eager boys and girls basics of American football on the ‘best grass in East Africa’.

Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Tanzania Tourist Board’s Managing Director noted, “The Kili Bowl, however, is more than just about American Football. It is also about showing good sportsmanship through the volunteer projects that these young American players, as well as their friends and families, have selected to participate in as part of the entire Kili bowl experience.”

Last September when Steenberge met Col. (retired) Iddi Kipingu, Chairman of the Tanzanian National Sports Council in the capital city of Dar es Salaam, the ex-school principal noted: “the Kili Bowl provides a special chance for our country to be first among African nations to introduce this dynamic sport, while allowing our children the opportunity to play a game new to them. We welcome Global Football, as well as the Drake and CONADEIP Mexico teams.”

Amant Macha, Tanzania Tourist Board’s Director of Marketing added, “America is Tanzania’s number one market for tourism. Hosting the Kili Bowl, with all its promotion in the United States is helping raise our profile as an international sports tourism destination.”