The following are ten proposals I would like the new National Sports Council (NSC) to work on. Not all Tanzanians are happy with the selection. I would have liked to see more members with direct technical involvement in sports. However we must work to ensure that we provide them cooperation to assist Tanzania to get to the next level internationally in sport.
- The NSC should bring back sports competitions in primary and secondary schools (UMITASHUMTA and UMISETA). The contribution of these two boards was the key to bringing success to the national team as that where new talent was discovered.
- The NSC need to ensure that the sports associations formed from district to regional level are supported as this will help to bring through leaders from all over the country who will be involved at every level of sport from local up to national levels. By doing this we will have a very strong national association.
- Assistance should be provided to sports associations to have some tournaments put back into the sports calendar, for example, the Bonite Cup in Moshi for volleyball. I strongly advise that the NSC gets in contact with Mr Reginald Mengi, the Chairman of IPP group to explore how to bring back this tournament. For me the decline of volleyball in Tanzania started when the Bonite Cup ended.
- Provision should be made for national sports associations to be housed under one office with communication access such as telephone lines, internet connection and other office facilities. This will help them to be contactable easily. At present documents are held individually and this is not satisfactory in terms of record keeping and keeping the history of the associations.
- Improvements should be made for sports bodies to be able to work more closely between the mainland and Zanzibar so that both sides can work closely together in building up talent and competing nationally, regionally and internationally.
- The NSC should outline good governance guidelines for sports associations to follow in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts and disputes and reduce the NSC having to play a role like a court of law and having to spend time with appeals.
- Preparation for the teams playing at national level should be done professionally allowing good planning around areas such as coaching, dieting, sports medical treatment, psychological support. This can be done by using our own expertise from the Faculty of Physical Education at the University of Dar es Salaam and other educational institutions in Tanzania.
- The NSC should advise the Government to create a link between investors coming to Tanzania to contribute towards sports either by donating part of their revenue to sports structures e.g after 50 years of independence we do not have a swimming pool constructed to international standard (50 x 25 m). This weakens the swimming association as there are no facilities of international standard where swimmers can properly practice.
- The NSC should assess regularly the leadership of associations to ensure good performance, particularly where the same leaders have been in place a long time or where the association is dormant.
- Finally, a website should be set up to enable all sports associations to communicate easily and act as a forum for collection of ideas and suggestions on how to develop the association. This includes allowing ideas to come from other countries which could be adapted for Tanzania. For example, in the UK there are cardiovascular exercise machines fixed in open spaces (which are immovable). These allow ordinary people who are jogging or walking in the park to use the machines and build up fitness levels for free. This could be done in Tanzania with the support from companies such as Vodafone, Tigo, TBL, Serengeti Breweries etc.
These are my ideas and contributions towards sports development. Young people will be looking to the NSC to assist them by identifying their talent, developing and exposing it. Maybe one day we will have our own sports icon who can set example for the youth.