Chaneta should restore old netball glory
THE Tanzania Amateur Netball Association (Chaneta), on December 6, last year picked its new leaders into the office. The new team promised to do everything within its powers to make sure that the sport stands on its feet again.
Even though netball is one of the oldest sports in Tanzania, it seems to have had a stunted growth as compared to soccer and other relatively new sports codes like basketball, handball, golf, squash and tennis.
Netball has always been popular in schools and in various public companies such as National Insurance Corporation (NIC), which used to have a team called Bima, Reli of Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC), and Bandari of the Harbours Authority.
But once sports in schools were brought to a sudden halt and privatisation of the mentioned companies then every thing went down the drain and everything about netball seemed to have been forgotten. Teams are unable to recruit and sustain players because they do not have money. Lack of new talents remained as another problem.
Netball officials and veterans agree that the sport is not growing as much as it should. They mention various reasons that contributed to the downfall. They said netball has been one of the codes that lack sponsors to support various programmes.
Netball is not supported by the corporate world as soccer is. This has to change. Another problem that could have contributed to the slow netball growth is that it is a women’s sport and in the past women were not treated as men.
This is why Chaneta said that even though it is a challenge, men have to be allowed to participate in the sport. Apparently, with the new vigour and zeal that the new leadership promised to come up with, the sign of hope is now on sight.
Chaneta officials announced early this week that they will come up with a special programme dubbed ‘Msichana Netiboli’ (netball and girl-child), which aimed at promoting and revitalising the sport especially in schools.
Under the programme, girls will be enthralled to take part in the sport, due to motivation and friendly environment that would be created to attract them. Under the programme, Chaneta is dreaming of having latest training facilities, kits and balls that would be distributed countrywide for the purpose.
All these need support from the public. Chaneta Secretary General Anna Kibira admits that the sport has a growth problem, but said the sponsorship has always been a stumbling block.
It is time the society supported the programme meant to empower women in sports because women were denied a lot of opportunities, a problem that could have stemmed from our cultural values. Chaneta should also organise a lot of tournaments to boost growth