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,Tanzania ,ACB strive to groom future international athletes

ACB strive to groom future international athletes

FOR the second year now, ACB has been sponsoring the athletic event that brings together pupils in Kinondoni district and gives them an opportunity to demonstrate their talents that are rarely seen since the government ban of sports competition in schools as IMANI LWINGA writes.

The bank, according to its Managing Director, Mr. John Lyare injected Tsh. 1 million as its sponsorship package. Of that amount Tsh 800,000 was spent as an award package for the winners. The MD says this is part of the bank’s social conscientiousness.

The athletic event saw children between the age of 10-12 running 50, 60, and 80 meters, 13-14 year-old pupils ran 100, 200, 400, and 800 metres while 15-16 year-old pupils ran 400-5000 meters. Also there were relay competitions. The first winner, second, and third winners in each category were awarded Tsh. 12,000, Tsh. 8,000 and Tsh. 5,000 respectively.

December, Saturday 10, was the day for awarding the winners. The bank did not give cash to the pupils, but each pupil got a new Zawadi account at ACB Ubungo branch with their awarded money being injected in those accounts. Zawadi Accounts is deliberately for the under 18 children.

102 pupils from over 50 primary schools featured in for the December 3 & 4 athletic competitions staged at the University of Dar es Salaam grounds.

Present at the winners’ accounts opening day included parents, guardians, teachers and senior officials from Kinondoni Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) as well as those of the national body, Athletic Tanzania (AT).

Among the pupils who won the tournaments include 15-year-old Joseph Mahemba of Mirambo primary school. He emerged first in the 100 metre track, 16-year-old Dunia Said of Amani Primary school (2nd 100m) and a 15-year-old Alfan Mohamed of Lion Magomeni. Others were 12-year-old Warda Kassim of Kimara Baruti (3rd in 100m) and Josephina Thomas of Tandale.

“This should pose a challenge to parents and guardians to save for their children,” Mr. Lyale said as he spoke to parents and guardians at the accounts opening day held at Ubungo branch.

Mr. Lyale explained that it was the bank’s interest to see parents develop the culture of saving for their children, the money that would serve them for future purposes including education needs.

“What we are doing here is to help you open accounts for your children and put in a small amount as a starting capital. It is your responsibility to sustain these accounts,” the MD noted as he spoke to jubilant parents and guardians.

Mr. Lyale acknowledged that the opening of accounts poses a big challenge to parents, guardians and children about saving culture at such a tender age.
Parents interviewed articulated positive remarks on the initiatives by the bank.

“I’m very happy that my son has an account. It’s like a dream, because I did not expect this would ever happen to me,” said Ms.Veronica Shonga over his son Everist, a pupil at Kibamba Primary School. “I shall make sure that I sustain the account. I thank Akiba for this award to my child.”

This was also the same to Mr. Gerion Tairo whose young brother, Amadi got a Zawadi account. “It’s our luck today. This is also a challenge to enable me gain efforts to save for my young brother,” he said.

ACB Ubungo Branch manager Mr. Anold Moshi was happy with his bank’s initiative to the children and said it was a big challenge to parents to develop the saving culture for their children’s future.

Before 102 accounts were opened, ACB Ubungo had already 125 Zawadi accounts that are being operated by the bank’s customers, according to Mr. Moshi.

Mr. Awadhi Kaswala, KAAA secretary general, commended the bank’s initiative and urged for other well-wishers to join ACB for next sponsorship.

The KAAA primary schools event was witnessed by former international athletes such as Seleman Nyambui, Peter Mwita and Lieutenant Colonel Juma Ikangaa who is also Secretary General of the Tanzania Amateur Athletic Association (TAAA). Interviewed on the fate of sports as whole in the country Ikangaa urged sports to be accorded its deserving status as was previously done.

“The country will be able to groom future sportsmen with stamina to win international events and bring honour to the nation only if the government reinstate sports in schools,” said Mr. Ikangaa.

He added that the government should back the education standard whose sports should be part and parcel. He challenged the government to deny a permit for a school to provide education should there be no sports grounds.
He was however, pessimistic on the trend of sports in schools.

“Education culture and sports should have been placed in a single domain,” says Lieutenant Colonel Juma Ikangaa, adding: “This should reflect a different feature from the current one whereas the government has separated sports portfolio with that of education and culture.”

Ikangaa a former international athlete, still in the professional but now as secretary general of the Tanzania Amateur Athletic Association explains that those portfolios-education, sports and culture-can work more effectively and efficiently when they do complement each other.

He said separating these into different domains makes difficult for decision-makers to formulate common and supportive policies when each custodian ministry works independently without any thoroughly coordination.

For instance, the minister responsible for education and culture banned sports competitions in schools. He made such decision within his given power and he therefore did not break the law. But sports are very important for physical fitness of our youth.

Should there be coordination between him and the minister for sports, labour, and youth development to find out ways on how to sort out the daunting issue- a solution that would affect none.

“Sports are crucial key to peoples’ knowledge. It’s a part of entertainment and keeps the body strong,” says Ikangaa. School had been the most suitable place to groom youth on sports. It is part of intelligent knowledge. Previously students who engaged in sports were also very good academically.

“Today we are told that sports ruins academic progress of students. This is quit opposite to our time,” he says. “If it’s traveling for sports we were doing that during vacations.”


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