TANZANIA plans to build ten Olympic size pools as a reaction to the efforts being implemented by the swimming body(TSA) to promote the sport countrywide.
The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe made the promise during the official opening of CANA Zone III Championship at Hopac School in Dar es Salaam last weekend and the country later won the title once again.
It was one of the event that only a few Tanzanians paid attention as swimming is almost unpopular in the country whose population are football centric. Why should the government build ten pools of Olympic standard, not arenas of other sports? the country’s success in the recently held CANA Zone III clears all doubts against the intended move.
Even the minister admitted during the opening ceremony that he did not know that the country had a huge honour to host such a big swimming event. But he clearly saw the need for sports venues that meet global standards.
But he saw some challenges in it as he was openly told that efforts to promote swimming met several obstacles. He was told that efforts by private firms to construct modern pools were frustrated by certain officials for the reasons only known to themselves.
He was told about certain government officials who did not cooperate with investors who wanted to build swimming pools at Oysterbay in Dar es Salaam. But still despite all the challenges, Tanzania benefited much from hosting this year’s swimming championship.
Never before mentioned as among the countries with swimming potentials, the country gallantly retained its CANA Zone III Swimming title after emerging the overall winners of this year’s championship.
Tanzania retained the diadem after accumulating unassailable 1,394 points to defend the championship they won last year. Neighbours Zambia finished runners up after hauling 968 points while Kenya bagged 957 points that helped them to finish third place, while Uganda finished fourth with 759 points.
Swimming giants, South Africa finished fifth with 469 points ahead of Sudan who notched 459 points to trail this year’s competitive event. Zambia was voted the team with best spirited swimmers while Sudan which competed for the first time was named the most disciplined team.
In the event 40 boys, Miller Judah and Imhoff Elia representing Tanzanite, managed to shine as they won gold and silver to occupy the first and second positions respectively.
Kenyan Michuki Michael won bronze after finishing third. The home side team also seized the show in girls category where Tumiotto Sonia who represented Tanzanite team won a gold medal after finishing first, ahead of Grobler Jessica from South Africa who finished second while Imhoff Emma also from Tanzanite team won a bronze medal.
In the race number 95, Tanzanians also stole the show again through Tumiotto Sonia and Imhoff Emma who won gold and silver respectively. Kenyan Karia Riva who finished third claimed bronze medal.
In 100m race for boys, Tanzania once again dominated the top two positions with De Villard Marin and Imhoff Elia standing tall after claiming gold and silver respectively while the third position went to Fernando Khushal from Zambia.
The Tanzanian flag was again raised up in race num ber 103 for girls courtesy of Tumiotto Sonia and Imhoff Emma who ended up the tight group while occupying the top two posts as they gained 18 points to 16 points.
It was very impressive performance and the Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Juliana Shonza said during her event’s closing remarks she saw hosting CANA Zone III as very important since it served well as an important symbol of unity, friendship and fitness among people from different countries.
She was delighted to see Tanzania has successfully hosted the championship that drew together five African nations through swimming, something she said cemented good cooperation besides helping to share experience and polish skills of the local talents.
Swimming has made a huge leap towards the desired success as evidenced through CANA Zone III events. Tanzania hosted this year’s championship as the defending champions after winning the overall title in the events held in Rwanda last year
. This time Tanzania fielded two teams teams namely Tanzanite and Platinum and they were the ones who handed the country the overall title.