PARALYMPIC local tennis players got a lift when they received 1.9m/- from the Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
The money was a left-over from funds collected by the Nordic community here in the City for their sports day last May, which traditionally has to be donated to "a good cause". It was one of the Councillors there, Geir Michalsen, who had suggested it would be a suitable donation for the Tanzania Paralympics Committee.
After the short ceremony, Michalsen told the 'Daily News' he was also pleased to see his suggestion had materialised. It was the Paralympics Committee Treasurer, Yusuf Possy, who received the money on behalf of the group from the Ambassador, Ingunn Klepsvik.
When handing over the sealed envelope, the Ambassador referred to the money inside, as being very little but Michalsen assured all present it will help put them in a better position to reach for bigger things to come. "I can assure you all here that this donation will help ferry some of our players to the next competition in Nairobi, Kenya next May.
It will also be very useful when carrying players from their schools to the courts, so that they can join their colleagues for the purpose of training together, which is very important," said Possy, in the midst of a smile of contentment. One of the players present was a Form Three student from Jangwani Secondary School, Rehema Selimani.
She had just returned from playing in a tournament in Nairobi, Kenya last month. She told the 'Daily News' the donation will certainly come in useful when retuning to Nairobi next May for their international tournament. In last month's games they managed to hold third position, so now they can get down to their training in full confidence that they have secured their fare there.
Their Assistant Coach, a Form Six student from the same school, Angel Kajelelo, chipped-in that there is always a need of money for the players to be able to move from their school to the training ground. She also mentioned there being a need to buy more wheelchairs, seeing that the players only have two of them at their disposal.
When the Ambassador was asked by the 'Daily News' after the ceremony why she agreed to use the money in this way, she replied that they felt nothing could have been more fitting than to use the money for a sports day to support some sort of sports.
Then when they realised that there was this Paralympics Committee, who have these "very engaged people, who are doing such tremendous work" to try and make sure Tanzania has teams, with facilities and support to go there, they adopted it immediately.
"Now I'm even more enthusiastic about it because I've got to know all these fabulous people, who are so dedicated. The coaches, who provide their services free from any charge and the physical education teacher, who really understands the value of physical education, plus these fantastic players, who are here today. So I'm very happy about it. I'll follow them," she vouched.