Barclays Premier League football club, Sunderland AFC, who share a strong relationship with the nation of Tanzania, has further strengthened its links with the country with the announcement of its first ever football partnership with Acacia Mining plc.
As the club continues to develop and expand its relationships across Africa with a number of organisations, the football partnership with Acacia Mining will see the Black Cats support the organisation’s CSR programme, delivering Sunderland AFC’s globally recognised community sports initiatives to community sites across the north-west region of Tanzania.
The unique partnership will see the English club work with local football clubs in the Kahama and Tarime districts North West Tanzania.
Sunderland AFC will operate in these areas eight to 10 weeks a year, working to deliver Acacia Maendeleo Fund dedicated CSR programmes.
Graham Robinson, head of international football development at Sunderland AFC, who will be delivering the partnership in Tanzania, is already familiar with the communities in which the club will be operating in and is excited to get started.
Graham said: “Community football is the starting point for many players and through our partnerships in Africa, we have a long-held commitment and reputation for investing in community and education programmes. The partnership with Acacia Mining through the Acacia Maendeleo Fund will allow us to fully deliver the programme over a sustained period of time, leading to a more successful initiative.”
Alongside Sunderland AFC’s partnership with Acacia Mining, the club has a long-standing partnership with Symbion Power, the highlight of which is the state of the art Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park in Dar es Salaam, where the club is providing technical and practical support towards.
Sunderland AFC’s commercial director, Gary Hutchinson, said: “We are thrilled to further build upon our strong links with Tanzania thanks to this unique and exciting partnership with Acacia Mining.
“We have 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, are helping us to spread the message of Sunderland AFC, whilst making a tangible difference to local communities.”
Acacia Mining’s Vice President Corporate Affairs, Deo Mwanyika said, "This partnership is one of many community development programmes Acacia is conducting at our three mines. We understand the importance of early education and talent building let it be in the classroom or on a football pitch; we see this program providing that opportunity for our young to learn from professionals at the same time develop their passion and talent in football.
“We all know how important sport and particularly football can be for helping to develop key life skills and we will, with Sunderland, develop a group of young coaches who will help ensure that grassroots football flourishes and continues to impact young girls and boys in the Lake Zone for years to come.
“Sunderland will also work with Stand United to help build solid links to grassroots football in the region. As in all our work we will strive to ensure girls and young women are included and take the opportunity to have open and frank conversations about the importance of girls completing their secondary education."