Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tanzania's Albino Magic soccer team receives uniforms, equipment

This is actually an important story because many people with albinism in Tanzania face discrimination and even murder, so it is good to see this team form and put aside fears to become a part of society. The team formed Oct. 15 and this weekend learned they would be outfitted with soccer gear.

From the Daily News in Tanzania when the team formed:
In the midst of being discriminated upon by the society, albinos in Dar es Salaam have decided to have fun like everybody else, by way of forming a soccer team.

Albino Magic Team is the name of the squad, comprising of 20 plus people, most of them men, with albinism, and they are very serious about kicking and dribbling. The team, whose headquarters are at the Ocean Road Cancer Centre in the city, train every afternoon at a small pitch, a stone throw from the centre.

“The idea just cropped up the other day when discussing problems that people with albinism are faced with”, the team's coordinator, Oscar Haule, told this reporter. Haule, who is a non-albino but has an old time friend who is an albino, is happy that the Tanzania Albino Society has blessed the first of its kind team, saying they have a myriad of short and long term plans aimed at shaking off false beliefs against people with albinism.

“We have decided to help efforts done by the government and other good Samaritans in finding a lasting solution of our problems and engaging in social activities is but one of them. “So far we have a team of 21 regular players who attend training daily but we are faced with a number of challenges.

“Most players live far from the city centre and have to spend their little cash as bus fare, not mentioning the hassle and tussle of public transport they encounter.

“The team also lacks sports gear as well as a proper trained and a physician as well as medical kits whose availability would be a great morale booster,” said Haule.

He said their quest for sponsorship or any kind or material support has so far hit blank walls, and the team is nearing panicking stage as they are expected to play their first match next week.

Haule said if all goes well the Albino Magic Team will play the Bunge team as a curtain raiser during the epic duels between arch rivals Dar Young Africans and Simba end of this month.