AT least 20 women are attending a five-day International Inspiration Leadership Course in sports, which opened at the British Council in Dar es Salaam on Monday.
The programme is part of a wider intervention to improve quality and access to sports in Tanzania, and supports women in positions of influence to develop their leadership skills and give them the tools they need to be leaders in developing sports in their organizations, communities, districts and regions.
The course uses the International Olympic Committee Sports Administration manual, and is being delivered by national Olympic Committee accredited trainer Irene Mwasanga and assisted by Jennifer Mmasi from the National Sports Council (NSC).
Opening the training on behalf of the Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children Sophia Simba, Director of Gender Development in the ministry Meshack Ndaskoi, emphasized the role of women in the country's sports development.
"Sports has been proven to break down barriers, improve learning in schools, bring people together, and inspire positive change in communities. Sports always bring students back into the education system, provide a forum for talking about difficult issues and gives girls and women a safe place to explore their leadership skills," he said.
He added that the International Inspiration programme has a diverse and ambitious plan to develop sports in Tanzania. "For example, it is training our young leaders how to coach different sports. It is also developing new curriculum materials which non-specialist teachers can use in schools where physical education is not currently available," he said.
Earlier on, Debbie Lye of the UK Sport said the women's leadership programme provides training and mentoring in sports and leadership for 40 women in the country over the next year and a half. It will also provide them with the support they need to continue the work indefinitely.
The course covers 17 modules which include sports leadership, the status of women in sports in Tanzania, the role of media in promoting women's sports, the importance of physical education for girls, effective communication and decision making.
This training is the first step for these 20 women from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Zanzibar, who will also receive ongoing support and follow up training next year to ensure they are supported in meeting their goals.
Another 20 women from around Tanzania will benefit from the same programme beginning in January next year. This is part of a wider women's leadership programme that is being guided and driven by a Task Force of influence and talented Tanzanian women who will bring wider benefits nationally to women in sport in the long term.