Tanzania should seriously invest in sailing- call

06Dec 2018
Correpondent
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzania should seriously invest in sailing- call

THE Tanzania Optimist Dinghy Association has said there is a need for investment in the sport so the country can perform well at international events.

Junior sailors from across East Africa compete in a recent championship in Mombasa, Kenya.

Nelly Coelho, Africa Sailing Confederation (ASCON)’s vice-president, made the remarks shortly after the national junior sailing team had returned from Mozambique where it competed in this year's Africa Optimist Sailing Championship.

Tanzania was represented by nine sailors in the championship, which was sponsored by Barclays Bank, but finished last in the event.

The championship brought together six countries and was hosted by Clube Maritimo de Desportos in Maputo Bay.

“We need good investment, a good sailing place where we can have sailing every day and give high performance coaching to the national team, we lack training and that is why Tanzania is never on the top," she said.

"If we want sailing to grow and start getting trophies, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports has to support us with a place by the sea, we have been asking them since 2016 but nothing has been done.”

Nelly said the Africa Optimist Sailing Championship saw South Africa’s Matt Ashwell beat the rest of the competitors to the top honour as he collected six medals.

Saba Constantine, who took the 40th position, turned out to be the best sailor that Tanzania produced at the Mozambique event.

She said currently sailing has reached its lowest point in Tanzania as the country is losing to such weak competitors like Sudan in continental tournaments.

She, however, said they are hopeful that once they find a place for training and permanent sponsors, the country can do well as it has many young sailors.

The sailors who represent Tanzania in the Africa Optimist Sailing Championship are all aged between seven and 17.

They are Abdallah Amanzi, Colman Tieszen, Grace Stephens, Kulthum Kassinge, Shiko Constantine, Rebecca Mallozi and Paul Dauravas.

Nelly said the aim of having many girls in the team is to encourage female sailors in the country to take the sport seriously.

She added Tanzania will hopefully have a lady, who will represent the country at the Olympics.

Tanzania has been competing at all continental championships since 2005 and has hosted the showpiece twice. ASCON has asked the country to host the 2020 event.