- Published on Friday, 17 August 2012 01:47
- Written by EDITOR
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THE seven athletes sent to represent Tanzania at the just concluded 2012 London Olympics Games returned home empty-handed on Wednesday. Much has been said about the dismal performance of Team Tanzania since it arrived back home crest fallen.
Many sports lovers have been asking themselves why our athletes cannot perform respectably at top level. Even though we did not expect them to win medals at the competitions we at least had hoped to make a decent showing.
However, we had no reason to believe that our athletes could surpass some of our past achievements at this level of competition. Chief among the critical reasons of course, was poor preparations.
The London Olympics have proved for the umpteenth time that it is a difficult and complex task to revive to win medals without meaningful preparations. Sports activities in the country are dying, according to experts. But the problem is homemade.
Especially shocking is the lack of knowledge and the increasing distance by officials and coaches to modern requirements of athletics. Many people feel that Athletics Tanzania (AT) neglects most events except long distance running. This means losing 90 per cent of the country's potential for athletics. And still no strategy to identify talents in schools in general and rural areas in particular is in hand.
The skills of coaches remain unimproved for years, no wonder some people question the utilization of the National Sports Institute at Malya in Mwanza Region. Where are the direct impulses of this institute to the development of sports in Tanzania?
It is a pity that motivated and intelligent sports teachers are often neglected and not recognized by such associations as AT. Most coaches, who are currently responsible for national athletes lack scientific background.
It is sad to say that the brains or intelligence of coaches have been substituted by their stop-watches. If asked, not a single athlete or coach can present a proper long, middle or short term plan designed to improve performance.
Everything goes by "tradition", straight into dead end. Therefore, athletes are unable to peak year after year especially on the day when it matters most. The immediate challenge for us is how to translate these lessons into concrete action in the days ahead.
Some of our top priorities in the days ahead are, therefore, to identify sports that give us competitive opportunities, restructuring the federations of these sports to make them more democratic, accountable and efficient. We should also develop a sports calendar that will ensure year-round sports activities both within and outside the schools.