This week, the Tanzania Amateur Netball Association (Chaneta) failed to send a team to the African Championship in Cape Town, South African for lack of funds.
Chaneta needed Sh104 million to finance training of the team and transporting 12 players and three officials to and from Cape Town –as well as their upkeep there. This was a golden opportunity as a stepping stone to future international netballing tournaments.
For more than five years now, the national netball team ‘Taifa Queens’ have failed to compete in international championships, thereby virtually eliminated Tanzanian netballing from global rankings. Netball was for long the second most popular spectator sport in Tanzania after soccer. Alas, that’s no longer the case today, as netballers continue to, perforce, feature in local league matches, with the occasional East Africa Netball championship to spice up their otherwise dulled sporting life.
Netball is among the over 35 sports in Tanzania that need to have an international presence and recognition. As it happens, sports associations which never travel abroad for international championships rarely – if ever – get the opportunity to mint money!
While amateur Boxers, Hand-ballers, Hockey and Pool players, etc., can usually compete within the country, players in Athletics, Darts, Football, Swimming, Golf, Basketball, Volleyball, Judo, Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis and Netballers can also compete abroad in international tournaments.
In fact, some Tanzanian swimmers are able to participate in international meets abroad with financial and other support from well-to-do parents. That’s partly how and why the swimmers are able to compete in regional and global championships.
We earnestly urge sponsors and other stakeholders to contribute to the development of sports in Tanzania as a whole, and not just focus on soccer alone. Most sports associations cannot alone facilitate their sporting activities; nor can the government finance all of them – even if it wanted to!