As the year swiftly draws towards the end, it is entirely natural for pundits and fans of sports to reflect on the kind of year it has been for local sports.
One negative highlight of the year that particularly stands out was our abysmal performance at the All Africa games in Maputo earlier this year.
Indeed, prior to the games there had been shoddy preparations on the part of our contingent for the event and so it was not surprising that we did so poorly at the sporting extravaganza.
The only saving grace from this tale of woe was the sterling performance of our women’s netball team, who impressively managed to win the silver medal in spite of stiff opposition from heavyweights of African women’s netball. In football, the year saw a mixed bag of highs and lows.
One of the pleasant memories was Yanga winning the Cecafa Club Cup, riding roughshod over the crème de la crème of East African Club football.
However, arguably though, football was mainly dominated by negative headlines this year. For instance, in the first round of the 2011/2012 Mainland Premier league, Yanga unceremoniously sacked the coach, Sam Timbe who had steered them to regional success earlier in the year.
Not to be outdone by their rivals, Simba followed suit and sacked their Ugandan coach, Moses Basena, even though at the time they were comfortably perched atop the apex of the league. Indeed, the mind boggles as to what the country’s two strongest clubs were trying to achieve with the dismissals of their respective coaches.
To complete this sad picture for football, the Kilimanjaro Stars failed to successfully defend the Cecafa Challenge cup title that they so admirably won on home soil last year.
This time around, the Kilimanjaro stars were the host team once again but they failed to rise to the occasion, finishing only fourth in the prestigious championship. Thankfully though, there was much more encouraging news from women’s cricket, where the national Under 19 team won the African women’s Under 19 T20 championship just a few weeks ago.
Indeed, in a sport which is often dismissed by many in the country, this is a welcome heartening development, which hopefully is a sign of greater and better things to come.
Thus, as we revel in the festive season, let us look ahead to 2012 with hope, expectation and the faith that it will be a great year for local sports and an even better, fruitful one for us in our individual lives.
Happy Holidays to all sports fans.
Lloyd Elipokea is a sports