Recently, the national swimming championship was held in Zanzibar with the Tanzania Marine Swimming Club (TMSC) emerging as the top team in the competition.
This year, the competition served a dual purpose as coaches used the event to select a national team that will represent the country at the Africa swimming championships in Nairobi next week.
Although swimming sadly has a low profile on the local sports scene, hopes are high that the national team can leave their mark on the continental championship.
Granted, even though our swimmers are not exactly feared in Africa, it is hoped that the most promising amongst them, can at least improve on their personal best (PB) times in their respective events.
One however would like to urge the Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA) to prepare for the future seeing as we will be hosting the Africa swimming championship in 2016.
Indeed, the TSA need to exert every effort to ensure that our local swimmers are more than sufficiently prepared for the championship on home soil.
Unfortunately, the fact is that not enough attention has been given to local swimming and hence, the sport’s fortunes have increasingly nose-dived over the years.
Considering that in a few years’ time, we will be hosting a prestigious swimming event, this near indifference to the sport’s plight simply needs to change so as to avoid badly denting our national sporting pride.
We also call upon corporate sponsors to increase their support of local swimming. Indeed, at the moment, the TSA has had to whittle down the national swimming team from 18 to 8 due to lack of funds.
It would also serve the interests of the sport if the TSA used the enhanced focus on swimming in the coming years, to boost youth development in the sport.
The TSA should also strive tirelessly to promote the sport amongst the youth, which hopefully will unearth promising and remarkable talents who can then be groomed into top stars.
Thus, as the national swimming team readies itself for the continental competition next week, let us all keep our fingers crossed that the sport will see better days in the near-future