Sexual health education through rugby

One of the Arusha Rugby Development Programme’s coaches tells us about his journey to teaching young people rugby – as well as about sexual health through the game. 

‘I spent 7 years living on the streets from the age of 7 due to issues at home which meant I could not live there. Life on the street was tough, with some of my friends getting killed, many getting into trouble with the police and some going to jail for long periods of time.

‘When I was 15 my friends told me about a centre that gave food to street kids, so I went and someone spoke to me about my situation and through their programme I went to school for 5 years. This was a real break for me.

‘After that I did vocational training to be a cook and through that got a job at a sports facility as a chef. It was here that some of the customers who played rugby encouraged me to take part in the sport and I soon realised I was good at it and really enjoyed it.

Getting young people involved

‘I was concerned that not many Tanzanians were on the team. As I improved, the number of Tanzanians in the team did not increased and I spoke to my coach about the opportunities for local young people to take part in the sport. He suggested that was my job!

‘That’s what I do now – I teach children from all different backgrounds rugby, not so they can all be in top teams, but because I value what sport can bring to young people’s lives and I understand what a difference giving a young person an opportunity can make to their future.

Benefiting from YES! Tanzania

‘As a participant in the YES! Programme I have benefited from the training of games to deliver sexual health messages which we run now at the start of our sessions. I have also taken part in first aid training that has helped my confidence and providing me with a first aid kit that I carry around to all my coaching sessions.

‘I have respect for all the young people I work with as they do for me and I strongly support the participation of both boys and girls in rugby.

‘I am pleased I can help my country and my community through rugby. My aims are to promote rugby, the game that I love, as a skilful and valuable sport among the most disadvantaged youth of Arusha using the sportsmanship of the game as a vehicle to encourage healthy lifestyles and supportive, positive and respectful relationships within the community.’

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