Tanzania lacks facilities to host high profile residential training camps

Understanding is not an aspect that is evenly endowed to mankind. This is why the very same phenomenon can be perceived differently by different people and hence accepted by one group and declined by another.

It is so dismaying that Tanzania’s sports industry lacks people with an understanding of the prerequisite facilities and equipment for top level sports training to take place, let alone the kind of weather that prevails at that specific place. It is due to this lack of understanding that Tanzanians were made to believe that some national teams taking part in the 2010 World Cup which kicks off in June in South Africa would have used Tanzania as their final base of residential training on their way to their respective competitive arenas.

One of the teams which were expected to visit Tanzania as their final base was Ivory Coast, a team which had an opportunity to come to the country for two build-up matches; the first against hosts Taifa Stars and the second against the visiting Amavubi; the Rwandese national soccer team. Most of the domestic soccer enthusiasts have it in mind that the most important facility for a team to train is the quality of the training field.

Well, a good training soccer field is one of the prerequisites for a team to select a place for residential training; but only when other residential training factors are properly observed.

Apparently most of those who had a dream of seeing Ivory Coast holding its residential training in Tanzania are not aware of the importance of acclimatisation of players prior to any big contest. This is why they could not relate the difference between the weather in South Africa and that of Tanzania during the mid months of the year. In fact during that time of the year, the southern part of the continent experiences lower temperatures compared to the eastern African warm and humid weather.

If any team would have agreed to hold its residential training in Tanzania before going to compete in South Africa, then the weather would not have been conducive for players’ acclimatisation.

Apart from the weather difference between Tanzania and South Africa during that time of competition, Tanzania lacks some basic and specific facilities and equipment for high profile sports training. To any narrow minded observer, the national stadium seems to be the best attraction for a team to train in Tanzania.

There is more to top level residential training camp than just the luxury of a good training pitch. High profile athletic training calls for so many other facilities to be available close to the residential training camp; facilities that very few amongst our sports bosses are aware of their existence and use.

An appropriate top level sport training camp must have a well equipped gymnasium for the multilateral development of the physical fitness parameters of the players. Such a gym must be fitted with machinery which can also monitor the anatomical and physiological changes brought about by the strenuous training load in terms of the muscle atrophication in relation to the demands of developing players’ strength and speed necessary for performance in a competition situation.

This calls for the availability of a quality exercise physiology laboratories and competent experts for the process to take place smoothly. I wonder if most people occupying offices at the Karume headquarters are much informed of all these, otherwise they would have advised accordingly.

When we speak about top level training residential camps we normally think beyond the availability of the luxuries of stadium, good accommodation and meals. The decision for the three West African teams to select a residential training camp located in the southern part of France has a lot to do with the availability of necessary equipment and facilities for top level training and the resemblance of weather to that of South Africa in the mid months of the year.

I wish someone understood what I really mean.

Syllersaid Mziray is a lecturer-cum-soccer coach

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