Ndikilo: Coast Region should invest in athletics

17Apr 2018
Sabato Kasika
The Guardian
Ndikilo: Coast Region should invest in athletics

COAST Region's regional commissioner, Evarist Ndikilo, has called on owners of industries, companies and sports stakeholders in the region to invest in athletics with a view to unearth talents.

Tanzania Olympic Committee secretary general Filbert Bayi speaks to journalists at Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam yesterday upon his return from Australia, where he received a distinguished service award bestowed on him by the Federation of the Commonwealth Games. Bayi set the world records for 1,500 metres in 1974 and the mile in 1975. He is still the 1,500 metres Commonwealth Games record holder. He was born in Arusha on June 23, 1953, and possibly his greatest moment was the 1,500 metres final at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, when he won the gold medal ahead of New Zealander John Walker and Kenyan Ben Jipcho. PHOTO: CORRESPONDENT SABATO KASIKA

Ndikilo disclosed he has seen a section of people put their weight behind soccer and insisted it is time sports stakeholders invested in athletics with a view to promoting talents which will help the country excel in international events.

 

Ndikilo presided over a ceremony which was held in Coast Region in honour of the country's athletics legend, Filbert Bayi, who received the Order of Merit from the Commonwealth Games Federation for his contribution in the development of athletics.

 

Bayi, who is the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) secretary general, returned from Australia on Sunday.

 

"I call on owners of industries, companies and sports stakeholders in Coast Region to not only support soccer but also invest in athletics so we can get other athletes that will represent the country well in international events," he said.

 

He also requested domestic athletes to emulate Bayi, saying the latter concentrated on his coaches' instructions and was disciplined and patriotic.

 

"Once an athlete gets an opportunity to represent Tanzania in major events, he or she must know over 50 million people are closely watching the athlete, thus, patriotism is an important aspect, Bayi also held it in high esteem," he said.

 

Bayi broke record in 1500m race in the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, a record which has yet to be broken.