The Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA) has launched a special training programme for local schools in a bid to promote the sport.
The pilot stage involves six schools in Dar es Salaam Region, after which the programme will continue in schools upcountry.
Launched during the International Swimming Federation (Fina) World Aquatics Day-2019, the countrywide programme will be used to scout out 100 talented swimmers in the early stages.
There has indeed been the notion that swimming is a special sport for International Schools only, based on the fact that many swimmers in the national team are from International Schools in the country. The truth is that Tanzania has many persons with latent talent, but lack the requisite facilities and opportunities to develop and display those talents.
But, surely, one doesn’t need sophisticated, state-of-the-art swimming pool in a country that is awash with natural water bodies. These have routinely been used by children to learn swimming – with some doing so to perfection, later notching international recognition/awards.
The TSA programme basically aims at identifying talented swimmers who would then be developed to become top-notch sportsmen and women at the club and national levels with time.
To that end, we take this opportunity to encourage Tanzanians in general, and sports stakeholders in particular, to support the swimming governing body every which way possible in this regard.
The time has also come for the organizers of inter-primary and secondary schools games (‘Umitashumta’ and ‘Umiseta’) to include swimming in their annual sports competitions.
It is important for the government and sports institutions to come together and set up training programmes for youths that would help harness and mould latent talents.
With a strong youth foundation, Tanzania can join the world’s sporting powerhouses and restore its lost pride in high-profile competitions.