TANZANIA is whetting appetite to have a national ultra modern sports training village, thanks to an initiative by one of its renowned athletes.
The sports academy will be named after John Stephen Akhwari,' probably the forgotten first Tanzanian athlete to participate in 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico. Local athletics stakeholder, Wilhelm Gidabuday is behind the proposed 1bn/- athletic training village, the first of its kind in the country.
Gidabuday and the Arusha based journalist and blogger, Gadiel Urio are currently working extra time to prepare nearly 700km marathon relay in a bid to raise fund for the purpose. The marathon relay from low altitude in Dar es Salaam, precisely Magogoni State House, to high altitude in Arusha across tarmac roads -along highway would be held before the end of the second quarter of 2013.
The Relay across Tanzania will pass through Dar es Salaam, Coast, Tanga, Kilimanjaro and finally Arusha. After raising the required amount for the academy, the organiser will sit with stakeholders and decide where the centre to be built.
Likewise, this modern safari along the same route will persuade the people around the main roads to participate in contribution of the fundraising campaign. "Charity begins at home, we want to draw attention on the underprivileged children and youths in our community and the need to build and improve physical education infrastructure by fundraising across Tanzania.
"This will prove that the centre we want to build will be owned by the people of Tanzania from west to east, south to north," Gidabuday explained through a release. He added: "We intend to raise 1bn/- at the end of the mission in order to build the centre at a location that would be decided by nationally acclaimed sports professionals, former and present athletes."
He said the idea is to have the state-of-the art athletic training village that would be nurturing the talented young athletes across the country. "We want to take this opportunity to start with and by our athletic talents that had a chance to prove for a cause of educating those with a small chance, undiscovered and underprivileged Tanzanian youths with talents," he stressed.
Gidabuday also plans to prepare the medal winning teams for 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games and beyond. Rogath John Stephen Akhwari who is also a professional runner, on behalf of his father said the centre is crucial if Tanzania is to revive its old glory in athletic competition. Faustine Baha Sulle, the silver medal winner in the International Athletic Association Federation (IAAF) Half Marathon, said the academy would put Tanzania as a country in the world limelight.