Tanzania needs realistic sports academies for its splendid future

By Syllersaid Mziray

Tanzanians are good at doing anything but with no precision. What most people invest in does not necessarily reflect their knowledge in that kind of investment but rather the benefits accrued from it.

To most of them, the end justifies the means. Most petty investors are engaged in businesses or services which are far out of their professional inclinations.

The only thing that matters to them most is the profits they will reap from these businesses or services, regardless of the quality and standards.

This tendency of having “blunt investors“ has led to a mushrooming of a number of schools with poor teaching staff, dilapidated buildings, no libraries and no laboratories, just to mention a few.

The wave of `blunt investing` has not affected the schooling system alone but has gone further to the extent of affecting the medical industry as well as the sports industry.

The sports industry is more affected since there is this public opinion that any Tom, Dick and Harry can be an expert in organized physical activity; sport so to speak.

The sports industry has been plagued in all its areas as from teaching skills, coaching, refereeing, massaging, rehabilitation as well as sports reporting.

You just need to pick any person from the street of any Tanzanian village, town or city and he can be a physical educator, a coach of any sport, a team physician, a team manager, a sports writer, a sports event commentator; you name it.

The worst of all invasions on the sports industry is the mushrooming of the so-called sports academies which are now becoming popular in most cities and towns.

Most of these establishments are managed by incompetent persons who are very poorly informed about the anatomo-phyiological characteristics of the children they train and the effect of exercise to them.

Most of these so-called trainers, coaches and ‘tichas’ lack the basic knowledge of how to develop a juvenile to become a good performer in a specific sports discipline.

This practice has to the most extent stunted children`s growth through engaging them in extremely strenuous physical activity sessions.

It is very much unfortunate that Tanzania has very few realistic or close to realistic youth training centers; not academies.

You can name them all; Rolling Stone in Arusha, Makongo High School (during Lieutenant Colonel Kipingu`s era) and the just introduced Tanzania Sports Academy (TSA), which is under the umbrella of the Tanzania Football Federation.

At least these three centers could be examples to be emulated by other so-called academies in terms of quality instructors, appropriate progression of training as per the children’s age and somatotype physique as well as the training facility and gear availability.

Tanzania needs realistic sports academies with well designed sport and play programmes. Well designed sport and play programmes can put children on a positive path to healthy development.

In addition to the many physical benefits, sport and play programmes help foster three key factors protective to the well being of the children – resilience, a meaningful connection to adulthood through the teaching or coaching relationship and a sense of safety and security through regular activity.

Sport and play also serve as a tool to teach important values and life skills including self confidence, team-work, communication, inclusion, discipline, respect and fair play.

Observing the TSA training at the Karume Memorial Stadium under Coach Rogatian Kaijage, one would realize the need to have professionals in the field of sport.

Despite the fact that the boys have been training together for less than a year, they have gained a lot of proficiency in soccer skills as well as self confidence, discipline, team work, respect and fair play.

If investors in sport will emulate the example demonstrated by TSA, Tanzania can be assured a brighter future in top level soccer competitions.

Of course it needs flexible and understanding minds to achieve such a precious goal.

It needs people who are able to think outside of the box; beyond gate collections and ticket swindling.

Mlundwa award a huge cause for joy, celebration
Let us begin with kickboxing, for which our very own Emanuel Mlundwa has become quite well known.

Last week, Mlundwa was the proud recipient of a nomination for the kickboxing master of the year award by the International Hall of Fame of martial arts.

Apparently, Mlundwa is one of the nominees for the award, in recognition of his contribution to the development of the sport in the country.

Impressively, Mlundwa was the first promoter in Tanzania to stage a kickboxing bout in 1993.

Now president of the pugilistic syndicate of Tanzania, Mlundwa`s award comes at a time when Tanzanian boxing in general is struggling to clean up its act in the wake of last year`s drug trafficking scandal.

Thus, even if he does not end up winning the prestigious award, Mlundwa’s nomination in itself is a huge coup that all within the Tanzanian boxing fraternity can be proud of.

Moving on, last week, the Yanga chairman, Imani Madega was bemoaning the fact that his club has faced tough North African opposition in the preliminary stages of the CAF Champions League in recent years.

Indeed, the Yanga boss blamed CAF for this trend, which has seen the Tanzanian champions being chucked out of the tournament each time they have faced North African opponents.

Interestingly, Madega seemed to suggest that Yanga might have performed better in recent years had it not been for CAF`s consistently challenging draws for the Tanzanian heavyweights.

In this writer`s humble opinion, the Yanga chairman was way off the mark in his analysis for a few important reasons.

The first is that if Yanga are serious about stamping their authority on the continental stage, then they have to overcome both lightweights and the leading lights of African football in the CAF Champions League.

Another important reason is that given the accomplished pedigree of Yanga as a footballing club, the comments recently made by their chairman, sadly sound a lot like whining.

Lloyd Elipokea is a sports

  • SOURCE: Sunday Observer

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