Dar to field two Paralympic athletes in 2022 Commonwealth Games

20Jan 2022
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Dar to field two Paralympic athletes in 2022 Commonwealth Games

​​​​​​​TWO Paralympic athletes will represent Tanzania in the coming Commonwealth Games scheduled for July to August in Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK).

Tanzania’s Paralympic athlete, Ignas Madumla Mtweve, participates in the 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix's men's Shot Put, which took place in Dubai from February 6-14. PHOTO: WORLD PARA ATHLETICS

Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) vice-president, Henry Tandau, said the two will represent the country in Powerlifting and Para-athletics.

He said the two are under the support of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) through its arm, the Games Athletes Programme (GAP).

Tandau said under the GAP support the two and two coaches will attend high-performance courses at Birmingham University and another university in South Africa.

He described the high-performance courses as good for Tanzania.

"We managed to secure the funding from GAP, which is the arm of Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the athletes will benefit a lot as the knowledge they will get will help the country, it will have a multiplier effect to Para sports in the country,'' he said.

He said the first course is expected to start in March in the UK while the dates for the South Africa course will be announced soon.

The TOC official mentioned the two coaches as Bahati Mgunda and Nemes Chiwalala.

Mgunda confirmed the development and said last week they had a zoom meeting with GAP officials.

The coach said GAP is for emerging athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth.

It aims to support the development of inclusive sports pathways, removing barriers to participation for people with a disability and women and girls to become actively involved in sport.

"The development of coaches is fundamental, but so is tackling many of barriers and constraints that prevent participation.''

''The program involves multi-stakeholder partnerships and the building of long-term collaborations with universities, sports organizations, and government agencies," he said.

He further said through partnerships people are now shifting their mindsets and starting to have a positive influence on communities to believe that it is a fundamental human right for women, girls, and people with disabilities to be included in their sports pathways.

He mentioned the two Para athletes as Sauda Njopeka and Yohana Mwila, Sauda represented the country at the Tokyo Paralympics.

"It is true, we will attend the high-performance course in the UK and South Africa, the courses are being funded by GAP and are aimed at equipping para-athletes and coaches, the training will also help the country at large as the knowledge gained will be shared with other coaches and athletes," he said.

He said GAP is a sport for development and peace program that supports the development of inclusive sport pathways throughout the Commonwealth.

Developed by the Commonwealth Games Federation and Griffith University, it has expanded into a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship with other partners joining on this exciting but challenging journey.

Mgunda said the expansion of the program is ongoing as they work towards bringing GAP to Africa with Stellenbosch University, Americas and Caribbean with the University of Western Ontario, and Europe with the University of Birmingham.

Oceania and Asia’s expansion will be led by Griffith University.