The games were reinstated in 2009 and given that it were the first time after an eight years hiatus; organisers can be forgiven for the poor show after the games failed to mark off as far as the sport loving fraternity in the country that has always craved for prosperity in sports is concerned. The following year witnessed drastic improvement and the games have continued to grow from strength to strength.
The games were all that the stakeholders were longing for to improve sports standard in the country. Apparently, the government deserves kudos for responding well to the outcry by reinstating the games.
The revived games, held at the Kibaha Secondary School, Coast Region, was a beehive of activities by not only testing the young athletes to the limit, but also it was an epicenter for various teams to get new players. And the presence of officials of various sports associations, clubs, national team coaches, officials from army teams and police force was a toast of the event.
It has been confirmed that a number of young boys and girls have already been picked to join the national teams at various age group categories. Army teams have also selected the best from the games. All these are encouraging news. National youth soccer team coach, Jakob Michelsen, has also praised organisers of UMISSETA, saying the games have helped him a great deal to spot talents.
Players such as Selemani Bofu, Ibrahim Twaha and Maicon Christian are a product of UMISSETA last year and were all selected in the national Under-20 team-Ngorongoro Heroes. Twaha shined with Tanga based Mainland Premier League side Coastal Union last season and he has joined Simba for next season’s league.
All in all, coaches have continued to paint brighter future for Tanzania youth programmes but just a reminder once again, the games’ re-introduction should be made meaningful.
Sports associations should fully utilise the opportunity to improve sports in the country. There should be good value for the money spent.