THE government has vowed to invest in grassroots development programmes for all country’s flag carriers of all sports so as to groom young talents.
This was recently said in Dar es Salaam by the Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Abdallah Ulega as he gave a clear path on what the government intends to do to uplift the sport sector.
“Our main task is to ensure that we put much energy in youth development programmes for all sport events like football, boxing, athletics and many others in order to prepare young people for the national duties awaiting them. “To achieve this, we will cooperate with various stakeholders to resurface interprimary and inter-secondary sport activities which used to be the epicentre of getting real talents,” Ulega said.
He added that so far, the government has picked 56 schools across the country to be used as centres of excellence where talented athletes will be kept and further polished for the sake of protecting their talents.
“As you know, there are many sport disciplines in the country which have potential to represent us well in foreign events but, to begin with, we have chosen our national team Taifa Stars which is preparing for the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) finals. “The government has been too close to the team since the first day they entered in camp by giving players the necessary support they need to do a recommendable job while playing for the CHAN finals in Cameroon. “One thing we have already resolved for the players is to pay them all the allowances they need such that when they arrive in Cameroon, they should focus on the CHAN mission and not on how their families are progressing back home,” said him.
He therefore called upon other sectors to come forward and render a helping hand to Taifa Stars players throughout their stay in Cameroon as one step to add morale to them.
“As per directive of President John Magufuli that all flag carrier sport disciplines should be fully supported by the government, we are taking that seriously and all of them will have full blessings from us,” he narrated.
On the issue of foreign players who come to play in the country, he said it is not a big thing but insisted that it would be better to have a specific number of how many should be permitted so as to protect the domestic talents. “We should not entirely reach the stage to ban foreign players into the country since they help to bring good competition with our own players and this is healthy for the development of football,” said him.
Again, Ulega noted that they have put in place some measures to ensure that the state broadcaster Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) is well equipped to start beaming live Taifa Stars matches and give access to many Tanzanians in the country to watch their flag carriers in the continental level assignments.