Let the country excel in sports in 2009

THE year 2008 will go down the memory lane as one of the most challenging in the country’s sports scene. It was somewhat a successful year in football, after the Taifa Stars qualified for the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) scheduled for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, next month. It was a big sigh of relief for many sports lovers.


Certainly, 2008 will remain as the year that sports fanatics in other disciplines would wish to quickly forget. Apparently, a lot remains to be desired in some sports disciplines, especially those which traditionally used to bring honours, for the nation such as athletics and boxing. ‘

In a shambles’ could be the better word to describe the current state of affairs within athletics and boxing associations. In 2008, these two sports disciplines recorded series of dismal performances, both locally and internationally.

It even went for the worst and indeed a moment of shame for the nation when the country’s contingent to the Africa Boxing Championships, including two boxers and their coach, were nabbed by Mauritius authority in connection with drugs trafficking. What a shame! As if that was not enough, the country fluffed in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Ga

mes, apparently with disturbing reports that some of the athletes in the contingent were not fit enough to compete in the quadrennial games because they had injuries. Neither did our athletes performed well in grand races as it used to be in the era of Juma Ikangaa, Filbert Bayi, Gidamis Shahanga and Suleiman Mjaya Nyambui.

Tanzania also hosted the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Division Four League in Dar es Salaam in October 2008. It was all disappointment again as the national cricket team found the going tough in the championships, that saw Afghanistan and Hong Kong promoted to World Division Three – after they finished in top two.

Motor sports, netball, basketball and handball — all had nothing good to write home about. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. As we usher the year 2009, it’s time for the sports associations’ leaders to come up with new ideas, while reflecting on the past successes and failures.

It is good for the responsible associations to know that they can start a new step and shed some of the troubles and failures of the past year. It is good for them to feel that they can continue to build on their successes, regardless on when it was recorded. They should always believe in improvement.

A challenge always spurs one to move to new heights and to conquer new horizons. The New Year is here with us. Let’s all seriously reflect on where we excelled and where we went wrong. Let the country resolve to improve sports in 2009.

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