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President hails sports upsurge

17th July 2010
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Brazilian coach Marcio Maximo.

President Jakaya Kikwete said he has done his best to support development of sports and entertainment in the country since he came to power five years ago.

The President was addressing Members of Parliament to sum up what the Government has achieved during its five-year term ahead of October General election.

He said the Government has been supportive to foot the remuneration package of the national football team coach, Brazilian Marcio Maximo, who ended his four year term last week.

He noted that the patriotism among soccer fans has been elevated to a remarkable level. Soccer fans now are capable to wear national team jerseys and wave flags during international meets, in and outside the country.

He said the Brazilian coach has played a crucial role to improve the national team ranking up to 112 from 167 when he took over in mid 2006.

However, Maximo ended his four year coaching stint without a silverware collection, with inaugural CHAN qualifiers last year in Cote d’Ivoire remaining his monumental achievement.

The Government’s support was not only limited to soccer but also to boxing, athletics and netball to mention a few.

It is during his Presidential tenure the country saw a basketball rookie Hasheem Thabeet wining NBA ranks in America for the first tie in history.

The President has also availed himself during some high-profile international matches played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Notable matches include against Cameroon (2008), Cote d’Ivpire and Brazil (2010) to mention only a few.

He twice availed himself to welcome the FIFA World Cup Trophy during the 2006 and 2009 global entourages.

Boxing and athletics coaches were hired at the expense of the Government budget while another opportunity has been given to the netball team to find a competent coach of their choice.

He said the Government has also chipped in morale booster to the national women soccer team that has qualified to feature in the African Nations Cup championship to be held in South Africa later this year.

The team that was on the verge of dissolving their camp but the President came to their rescue to keep it afloat.

He also contributed to the development or artists whose works have been pirated by unscrupulous businessmen to leave them empty handed.

The President who seeks a re-election through his CCM Party in the October election, summed up his sports and entertainment speech by declaring that where there is a will there is a way to transform Tanzania into a true sporting nation.

Kikwete’s in depth support in sports and entertainment is dubbed to be highly exceptional at Presidential level since independence.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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