The Tanzanian Netball Association set up camp at Bradford College’s state-of-the-art Trinity Green Campus to carry out pre-season training for the forthcoming African Qualifiers. This will open the door to participation of the World Championships in Singapore in 2011.
This is not the first time the state-of-the-art Trinity Green Campus sports facilities have been used by professional sporting associations and clubs. In 2008 the England Wheelchair Tag Rugby League World Cup Squad used the facilities for their last training session, before winning the Inaugural Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup in Sydney, Australia!
During their visit to the UK, The Tanzanian Netball Association were given a warm welcome by staff at Bradford College and treated to a tour of the College’s world class facilities. The delegation also attended a civic reception with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress and had a guided tour of City Hall, before rounding off the trip to the UK with a visit Glasgow.
The Tanzanian netball team played a series of games across the country during their week long visit. They also trained with the England Institute of Sport in Sheffield and regional squad.
Speaking at the civic reception, about the positive relationship between all those involved in the project, Ronnie Todd, Directorate Project Manager said: “It has been our privilege to host the Tanzanian delegation. Its been a fantastic experience for us and we hope you’ve enjoyed it too. We hope you come back. We think it’s great for the sport, the city and Bradford College!”
Ronnie continued: “This forms part of the work our International Centre is doing to promote the internationalization of the curriculum within the College – helping to establish links with international institutions. We also have plans in the pipeline to develop Olympic Sports Scholarships.”
Commenting on the visit from the Tanzanian Delegation, International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) and England Netball representative, Liz Broomhead said: “Very excited for our Tanzanian visitors and very excited for us as it’s so important for the teams within the UK to get the opportunity to play against the African style.”
Liz went on to add: “The College has made them feel very welcome and with all their international links they have provided us with a wonderful service.”
Global Development Manager, Sarah Pickford from the (IFNA) accompanied Liz to Bradford and said: “It’s great the England Netball, Netball Europe and Liz have put a lot of effort into making this visit happen. It’s always a challenge for other countries coming across. We want to encourage this more and more. The styles of play and getting other countries to witness those and experience them first hand is really important for us to drive up the standard. It’s also beneficial for the African countries to see what the standard is like here in the UK. They can then take that back and help set performance programmes to improve the standard of netball, which can only be good for the game.”
English Netball Young Leaders, Charlotte Broadhead and Sophie Lamont volunteered to help the Tanzanian Netball Association during their trip to the UK. Commenting on the visit by the Tanzanian delegation, Charlotte said: “We didn’t know what to expect… we didn’t realise they were a really high level team. There are a wide range of players and its been really nice to interact with them and form friendships. I’ll be really sad to see them go.”
Sophie added: “We’ve been selected to be a host to them as they don’t speak much English. We’ve really enjoyed the experience.”
Head of Tanzanian Delegation, Mr Joel Mwakitalu commenting on the trip to the UK said: “It’s fantastic! All the people here have been great and we have never seen such fantastic facilities. We are very happy to be here. ”
Mr Mwakitalu added: “Playing with the teams in England has been greatly beneficial. Training together is helping to raise the standard, as the England team are highly professional.”
Tanzanian Embassy Second Secretary, Mr. Allen Kuzilwa travelled from London to attend the civic reception and meet the team. Mr. Kuzilwa said: “I think it’s great for the girls. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to learn and to see a new environment and meet new people and colleagues that also play netball. Training for them will also be really good because of the facilities. I hope they will make the best of this opportunity and go ahead and succeed in the competition.”Click here to see the gallery of photographs from the memorable visit.