The hour for creative thinking in sports is now

24Mar 2020
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
The hour for creative thinking in sports is now

​​​​​​​DOUBTLESSLY, it is the worst-kept secret in the global realm of sports that a whole spectrum of various sports have come screeching to a halt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Junior football players put their skills to use during a recent training at JMK Youth Park in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO; CORRESPONDENT JUMANNE JUMA

Indeed, the reasoning behind this momentary cessation of an entire host of sports is quite easy to figure out as the temporary stoppage of most sporting activities was done so as to slow down the alarming spread of this virus that has been nicknamed ‘COVID-19’.

Significantly, here on home soil, authorities have taken similar sweeping and precautionary measures all in an effort to successfully get to grips with the potent threat that the coronavirus poses.

One such step was the stoppage of all kinds of sporting activities on the home front until at least one month has elapsed, which in this writer’s book is a sagacious and laudable move.

However, in the face of absolutely no sporting activity for the next entire month at least on the domestic patch, the million dollar question hanging in the air is: what on earth are our sports administrators to do besides trying their damnedest to remain well, of course?

Well, since the next four weeks presents sports administrators with more time on their hands than they had bargained for, I would like to advise them to personally engage in fresh, creative and out-of-the-box thinking in a bid to find solutions to some of the frustratingly familiar woes which have bedeviled local sports for seemingly ages.

One such malaise is the shoddy standard of officiating which has afflicted local football on and off for arguably the last decade-and-a-half.

Indeed, it appears that we are in another wretched period where the spectre of shabby officiating has reared its ugly head for the umpteenth time.

Indisputably, poor officiating is a veritable menace on our football landscape.

For example, it gives rise to bad blood in relations between football clubs and referees, which, of course, is detrimental to the sport of football on our shores.

Another distinctly adverse consequence of poor officiating is that it robs fans of their confidence in domestic football’s top flight league.

And, as is commonly known, spectators are the most important stakeholders of any sport and it is no different in football.

Thus, it follows that if the many domestic spectators of the Mainland Premier League lose confidence in a critical aspect of the league such as refereeing, then it would mean that the whole league championship would be significantly devalued and what’s more, the country’s top tier football league would begin an alarming descent into the abyss.

Therefore, during the next month or so, it would prove to be particularly helpful if football’s upper echelon administrators were to take a real stab at seeking to obtain a curative remedy for the long-running problem of shoddy officiating in local football.

Another worrying concern which needs to be urgently addressed is the glaring lack of a transition from gifted youngsters to thriving and blooming senior players in domestic tennis.

Indeed, over the past couple of years, we have witnessed a seemingly ceaseless number of precocious boys and girls who not only have shone brightly in dazzling fashion on the local tennis front but have imperiously stamped their authority on the East African tennis circuit as well.

Despite these admittedly encouraging developments, there is still one question that has gone unanswered, which is: why have we failed as a country to produce a steady supply of flourishing tennis players at the senior level as well?

I mean, on the face of things, the lack of successful tennis players at the senior level is akin to arguably the Riddle of the Sphinx.

After all, since there has been a plentiful supply of gifted youngsters who are being churned out frequently by a production line of talent working at a cracking speed, then for goodness sakes, why has there been such a conspicuous lack of trophy-winning tennis players at the senior level on the domestic sports landscape?

Perhaps, within the next month, it is hoped that some sports administrators, because they will not be involved in live sports, will ponder on the aforesaid challenge and other drawbacks which hinder local sports in the hope of finding a solution to them.

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