TANZANIANS have been left with high hopes following last weekend's Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) elections in Dodoma.
Re-elected leaders promised to do everything in their power to ensure the country performs well in Olympics. There had been confusion and wrangling prior to the elections as counter campaign were conducted to ensure the incumbent leadership, under Gullam Rashid as president and Filbert Bayi as secretary general, don't come back for what was touted as failure to lead the country into Olympic success.
Despite the massive campaign against them, the duo managed to beat off the competition and retained their positions with impressive vote counts, which suggests that committee members still have faith in them. The re-elected leaders promised to remain fixed to the main functions of the TOC, which is to ensure the representation of sportsmen and women from the country at the Olympic Games.
It is also their responsibility to ensure the protection and the development of the Olympic Movement and amateur sports. They should also teach and encourage respect of the fundamental principles of Olympism, act as a link with national sports federations affiliated to the International Federations recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The TOC should also continue to encourage and assist the government in the enforcement of a sport programme for the youth, with a view to developing its character, health and civic sense. Success in Olympics Games is also another major task for the TOC leaders.
But again, these need active and committed sports association leaders who will be ready to invest in youth sports development, which will allow the TOC to take crème de la crème to the Olympics. It should be remembered that 1980 was Tanzania's most successful year ever, with Bayi winning silver in the 3000m steeplechase and Suleiman Nyambui winning bronze in 5000 metres.
Such feat has never been repeated and clearly many Tanzanians would wish the re-elected leaders to refresh their plans and strategies in a bid to turn around the country's fortunes in Olympics. The Olympics are often a cause for national pride, no matter which nation is involved. That is why every individual would wish to see athletes representing his or her nation step up at the podium to get the medal and hear his or her national anthem being played.