Time Tanzania sports bodies focused on youngsters

Tanzania national women U-17 players train ahead of the today’s group D encounter against Canada in India. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • These associations must also select qualified coaches for young athletes if they really want Tanzania to succeed in sports.

We all were impressed by the good performance of Tanzania National U-17 women team, Serengeti Girls, in the just ended FIFA World Cup in India.

The competition saw Spain national women team clinching the title after beating Colombia 1-0. Nigeria finished third and Germany in the fourth place respectively.

To put things in record, Serengeti Girls were the first national team to reach the World Cup final in the history of Tanzania.

Records show that some of our squads in other sporting activities apart from football, that is, athletics and swimming have managed to compete in World Cup finals but without qualifying for the stage.

But, Serengeti Girls competed all the way from the continental qualifications and secured the place after much sweat. This, indeed, is a sign that Tanzania is making progress in sports.

To top it all, the players who made the wonders were those without big names. It means good scouting was conducted as well as good preparations, including training were put in.

This leaves a lesson to other sports bodies. They need to up their standards and build strong foundations especially among the youngsters so that they are well prepared for continental competitions and bring home achievements as of Serengeti Girls.

It is the lackadaisical approach to sporting activities which the relevant authorities must erase from the minds of ordinary Tanzanians, particularly the youth.

It is worrisome that some associations don’t stage age group competitions, which are scouting platforms for untapped talent in almost every sport.

These organisations should mourn that their respective sports are in decline as they are the main saboteurs of government efforts to revive and promote every sport.

These associations must also select qualified coaches for young athletes if they really want Tanzania to succeed in sports.

To the athletes, they should show their patriotism and refrain from competing in high-profile championships as mere participants. It can be done, Serengeti Girls have shown us.

Act on water woes now

That ‘water is life,’ is not just a saying, it is a reality that authorities have failed to live with it when it comes to provision and access of clean water for all.

Authorities have failed to bring to life the saying mainly due to being irresponsible and lack of vision.

Dar es Salaam, and many other regions like Dodoma have been hardly hit with water scarcity, forcing Water minister Juma Aweso to summon the Drilling and Dam Construction to flush at least 197 water wells in order to restore water access in the city.

A good gesture indeed.

However, tackling such a national problem need also to be backed by long term plans, considering that Tanzania’s 61.7 million population is soon expected to hit 100 million people.

There was once an article about former Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi’s Great Man-Made desert river project, for provision of clean water.

Such bold action tells us the kind of visionary leaders needed in our modern times.

That Tanzania is surrounded with numerous lakes, yet experiencing water woes, year after year, is hard to imagine.

Let us have visionary leaders who will focus for the generation to come.