1 December 2012

Tanzania: Pundits Call for Athlete Incentive Package

LACK of proper incentives to excelling local athletes has been cited as a major factor that had negatively impacted the development of sports in Tanzania.

Stakeholders in a two-day meeting for Regional Administrative Secretaries (RAS) that climaxed in Dar es Salaam said that motivation factor is utterly lacking in Tanzania, insisting that it was important for the country to re-think its strategy and start rewarding athletes in various sport disciplines.

For a scant experience, they (stakeholders) pointed out how incentive has played a role for the impressive performance of army athletes and teams, saying similar methods should be adopted by the government, sports associations and clubs.

Juma Ikangaa, a legend of various international marathons, big of them all Tokyo marathon said army athletes have been performing better due to discipline, proper training and proper promotions.

He said should the country want to attain the accolades in various circles it must implement the phrase "The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare."

Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC), Dioniz Malinzi admitted the setback, saying for the army athletes a medal win means a rank promotion. Commenting on Tanzania People's Defence Forces presentation on their contribution towards sports development, Malinzi said the country needs to learn from neighbouring countries on how they motivate their athletes through incentives packages.

"We should be open to ourselves, we do not have a policy to reward out athletes especially in Tanzania Mainland, its is time now we should think of it as a motivational plan," he said.

He also cited the Zanzibar Heroes zealous performance at the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala, Uganda saying the reward they have promised to get should they win the trophy has greatly motivated the players to fight their hearts out.

Director of Sports in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Leonard Thadeo concurred that 99 per cent of athletes who won accolades for the country are the product of army forces.

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