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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Squash lacks national body

21st April 2012

The national Sports Council says squash has been played in the country on recreational basis without being supported by a national body.

The NSC official Mohamed Kiganja said the indoor game is practiced by several clubs in the country and tournaments are staged but it lacks an association to streamline development and take part at international events.

Tanzania is the only country in Southern African whose national squash team and clubs do not take part in regional and international tournaments organised by World Squash Federation (WSF).

The development according to Kiganja is a confirmation of irresponsibility the players of the game are going through.

Kiganja said squash has been idle for many years and failed to compete at any international tournament due to lack of leadership.

He said NSC does not have any records of recent participation of the squash national team at any international tournament which is a clear indication that the game is practically dead.

Recently, there have been many international squash games and activities but there was no country representation at the events.

The All Africa Junior Squash Championship was held in Zimbabwe recently.

A tour organised by WSF when top squash players, officials and referees are set to visit Southern African countries in June  but Tanzania is no where in the squash map.

The WFS organized tour aims at uplifting the games profile in the continent where the international body said it lacks strong structure, infrastructure and support. 

Kiganja said this is very sad considering the fact that many people loves the game and also it paints the bad picture to the international Squash bodies that extend their invitations to the national team, but the team does not honor the invitation.

He attributed this to sports leaders who cling to power and stays longer without holding any elections, he said in most cases leaders who cling to power dump the sports associations after messing up everything to the extent that it becomes difficult to revive the federation and the game.

According to him the last time he remembers to have been invited by the Squash National Federation to watch one of its games was in 2002 at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) and also the last time he handed over the national flag to the Squash team going out of the country for the international duty was in late 90s.

“Sports leaders whom cling to their post for long time without holding any elections are the ones killing sports federations in the country, they stay long and when they mess up everything they dump the federations and that marks the end of it” said Kiganja

Kiganja said as a measure to revive the game in the country NSC is inviting squash clubs, individual players from all over the country   to visit his office so that they can form an interim committee whose main task will be to revive the game, draft a constitution and approve it.

On his remarks, Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) squash section captain Depak Doshi said there is a need to have a committed National Squash Association so that the game can regain its lost popularity and glory.

He said DGC as the main stakeholder of squash in the country is very concerned that the national team has been inactive for many years.

He said the development is affecting promotion of the game to other parts of the country and also affecting youth development.

Doshi said DGC has a working relationship with squash clubs from Kenya and Zanzibar, but said this is for the club level only and squash fraternity in the country need to participate at high profile competitions organised by WSF and also get technical support from the international body.

    “We are really concerned with what is happening to the game of squash in the country. We can play here (DGC) for many years but as the country we need to have some international exposure by competing with top squash countries at international events”, he said. 

  The DGC captain said as one way of reviving the game at the club they have lined up a number of activities which include a Vell tournament in May, Dar es Salaam Open in July, Chairman’s trophy in October and Uhuru Cup set for December.

Doshi concluded by saying his club is currently busy looking for sponsors to back the tournaments.

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