It is an incontrovertible fact that the overall performance of the Tanzanian contingent to the All Africa Games has been nothing much to write home about.
However, late last week before the games ended, this saddening picture of mediocrity changed for the better when the national women’s netball team impressively claimed the silver medal at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.
What clearly stands out from our heroines’ Maputo adventure is that out of eight tough matches, they only lost two games, which is a remarkable achievement that will certainly gladden the hearts of the wananchi.
Affectionately dubbed the ‘Taifa Queens,’ the team has salvaged a bit of our badly dented national sporting pride as we had not yet won a medal in any other sport before their glorious success.
In light of this feel-good story for local netball, it is hoped that would-be sponsors will now feel greatly inclined to channel vast funds into the sport in a bid to hasten its development in the country.
Indeed, the success of Taifa Queens ought to clearly show sponsors that lending enormous financial backing to football at the expense of other sports comes at a high price that we should not be willing to pay.
Moreover, as our team has demonstrated such sublime skills, one hopes that the authorities will soon sign the services of a top-notch foreign coach to improve our prospects of future success on the global stage.
Furthermore, it would perhaps be a good idea as well for the Tanzania Netball Association (Chaneta) to organise more friendly matches against quality opposition in an effort to further expose our national team to international netball.
But all these lofty plans can wait: for now let us savour the thrilling success of Taifa Queens.
They are certainly queens of netball in my book and they have restored some pride to a wounded sporting nation.
Lloyd Elipokea is a sports