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Monday, March 31, 2014

Tanzania: Sports Diplomacy Will Transform Local Athletes



TANZANIA has embarked on sport diplomacy to enable its athletes perform better and bring in medals from international events including the Commonwealth Games set for July, this year in Glasgow, Scotland.

The diplomacy which is meant to enhance capacity building amongst the sportsmen and women will include sending local athletes to other countries and learn new tactics and improve their performance.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Bernard Membe, said that at the moment the country does not have international standard facilities for training its athletes and this has prompted the government to seek assistance from advanced countries.
To start with, the government will send 50 athletes and about 16 coaches abroad to train. A total of ten athletes will train in Ethiopia, ten in New Zealand, ten in China and ten others in Turkey and the government will provide tickets and per diem allowances while the rest of the expenses will be covered by the host countries.
We applaud the government for coming up with this brilliant idea and as Minister Membe said, this is indeed good news for the country's ambitious plan to revive the ailing standard of sports.
Previously, our sportsmen and women were training on facilities that don't meet international standards and this led to their dismal performance in international competitions but now, the government is committed to bring to an end scenario of failure to win medals in big games.
Yes! The embarrassing failure has to end now and the country should retain its old lost glory, especially in such events as Commonwealth Games, where the country has a history of performing well.
Without our sportsmen and women winning in sports competitions, locally and internationally, Tanzania will not be able to make any diplomatic sports impact at home and abroad.
We should remember that sports diplomacy has helped a number of countries in the world in pushing forward their agendas, some of which had absolutely nothing to do with sports.
However, at this juncture, the major focus should remain on helping our athletes step up and improve their career and instil winning mentality. We always believe that good preparations will definitely pay off.

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