SAFC in Tanzania: Day Two

Barack Obama tells SAFC 'keep up the good work!'

After a productive first two days, the Sunderland delegation met Ulrik Muller, the Symbion Project Manager.  They discussed the findings of the previous meetings and made some amendments to the academy project based on these discussions with various parties.

Following the meeting, the group travelled to the Tanzanian Ministry of Sports, meeting with various officials, including the Hon Dr Fanella E Mukandara MP the Minister for Youth Culture and Sports – who is pictured here proudly wearing a Sunderland shirt!

Whilst at the Ministry the delegation shared its vision for the facility and the Minister discussed the importance of a multi-sports, community facility. The Minister also suggested a committee should be set up including the Tanzanian FA and the Permanent Secretary, to ensure the project succeeds.

CEO Margaret was invited attended to attend an audience with President Obama - one of only 30 people at the Symbion Plant. After discussing the Power Africa initiative and congratulating Symbion for their work, the President met all those present;  when Margaret told him she was representing Sunderland AFC he told her to ‘keep up the good work’  – perhaps Mr Obama is a Sunderland fan and has been excited by the recent new signings! 

The day continued with visits to more dignitaries. British High Commissioner, Dianne Melros welcomed the Sunderland delegation, along with Lord Westbury, Chairman of Symbion and Peter Gathercole, CEO Symbion Power Ltd, to learn more about the project.

The High Commissioner was accompanied by Bikash Dawahoo, Regional Politics and Economics and Victor Mlunde, Political Analyst. They were very impressed by the club’s plans and assured Margaret of their support.

This was the last stop of the visit before returning to the UK. The club delegation had been warmly welcomed by everyone it met and witnessed first-hand the huge enthusiasm for the academy project and desire from all parties to see it come to fruition.