Athletics Tanzania (AT) Secretary General Suleiman Nyambui said at the start of a three-day championship that it was the task of the regional associations to dress up the runners.The runners are not only bare-footed but majority of them put on outfits which failed them to run properly.
Nyambui admitted that lack of proper sports wear for athletes was a big challenge especially at this era and for some reasons, it has failed the runners to perform properly in various meet.“It is true that the sports gear is a great issue at stake for our local runners, but the regional and district associations should ensure that their athletes are complete in all,” said Nyambui.
Most of the regional and district associations have been citing the situation to lack of insufficient funds, which is due to limited budget. However, critics say both AT and regional associations could solicit support from sponsors at their respective levels, which however, requires realistic proposals and achievable results.
The Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Fenella Mukangara is expected to officially open the championship on Saturday afternoon.Meanwhile, Nyambui said more regions pulled out of the championship on the eleventh hour due to lack of funds. He named them as Kagera, Mtwara, Iringa, Kigoma, Rukwa, Katavi and Geita.
Moreover, he said, there is no fair representation in the regions taking part in the championship with Zanzibar fielding in the highest number --100 athletes, with the minimum being Simiyu who have registered only two runners.
Nyambui said to have also received complaints from stakeholders from various regions on the criteria used by the regional associations to pick up the teams for the championship.
“I have been receiving phone calls from various people from Shinyanga and Morogoro who have been complaining about the team’s selection, but that is not within our mandate, but we will see how all concerned parties are involved next time,” said Nyambui.
The national championship involving both field and track event will wind up tomorrow with the National Sports Council (NSC) Chairman, Dioniz Malinzi being the chief guest.