Wishing a soldier going to war is never superfluous, or a cliché, and hence our best wishes to the athletes due to represent our beloved country to the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.
Our experience with the Games, and indeed with most other international sporting events, has seldom been that inspiring. But rather than lose hope and lose before even things get under way, we must take heart and hope for the best.
For years, our representatives at the Olympics have returned home empty-handed, and not to very kind reception. That’s sad, of course, for competing does not always guarantee or mean outstanding performance leading to outright victory.
The Games are staged at regular four-year intervals, suggesting that every country intending to take part has ample opportunity to plan well ahead so as to participate meaningfully.
Effective, some would say scientific, preparations imply the need to have close working links between all the relevant authorities – the government inclusive.
This is crucial because, as noticed this time around, financial constraints can be a serious headache and often it is only a well organised institution such as the government can come up with a viable solution.
But our athletes flew to London at the weekend reportedly with empty pockets, this despite a promise by the Information, Culture, Youth and Sport ministry to resolve the crisis ahead of the Games’ kick-off.
The circumstances that led to embarrassing situation remain shrouded in smog, as the Games schedule was known to all and sundry well in advance.
Thus, one wonders why a proper budget for the event does not appear to have been discussed and approved ahead of our representatives’ departure – and, after all, it is such a tiny delegation!
We are told it was not yet time for the ministry’s 2012/2013 budget estimates to be tabled in the National Assembly and therefore there was nothing one could do about it. Isn’t that crazy? Surely the House’s schedule of duties is not set in stone!
At least in theory, the situation gives the athletes an excuse for performing poorly at the Games, and why should anyone blame them? So, in a way, it is self-imposed defeat we are about to experience in London.
The relevant authorities, notably the Information ministry and Athletics Tanzania (AT) have no option but to admit that this is a terrible oversight that promises to have disastrous consequences.
But AT long saw it coming, what with the endless squabbles in their very backyard, particularly as relates to their recent elections. They should have all along known that condoning or fuelling disorder is the wrong way to succeed.
Now that the harm is done, we should start thinking of and about the future spare ourselves any further needless blushes.
Lack of planning and foresight has surfaced at an especially awkward time when Tanzanians are dying to see more serious efforts to revive sports and prepare a new and more promising generation of athletes.
Nevertheless, we wish our athletes in London enjoyable and successful Olympics. We appreciate the magnitude of the constraints they are faced with, but medals of whatever class would be true bonuses to treasure.