Treichville Dockers From Africa’s Ivory Coast Getting TV Coverage

The Treichville Dockers from Africa’s Ivory Coast are slowly building American football in this West African country. From an idea back in 2002, founder Eric Kouakou, has scraped together a team which is now practicing regularly and even holds weekly video sessions.

The growth of the sport in this impoverished nation has been an uphill battle for Kouakou and his compatriots. The per capita GDP of the Ivory Coast is among the lowest in the world. This means that aspiring players simply cannot afford to buy equipment for American football. The group has to rely on outside help, and ex US Army veteran Dan Miles provided just that last year, collecting and then shipping much-needed helmets, shoulder pads and jerseys from his home in Florida.

Donations growing

Co-founder of the Dockers Kouassi Mathias (now living in Seattle,Washington ) stepped up and provided 30 football uniforms.  Christian Piché from Canada and former Laval University player heard about the team when visiting a team in Morroco and has also arranged donations of equipment.

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With the game beginning to catch on in other countries such as Egypt (which has two leagues), Nigeria and Kenya, Kouakou’s efforts it seems will begin to pay dividends. With the equipment, enthusiasm among players and interest in the local community is rising. A new head coach has been added, former French player Jerome Nijenhuis (Les Kangourous de Pessac).

Now it seems that the Dockers have finally caught the attention of the local media.

As the team comes together, plans are progressing to arrange a game in the near future with other African nations. Eric Kouakou and Dockers head coach Jerome Nijenhuis are optimistic about the future of American football in the Ivory Coast.

 

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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