Moving the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, 2013/14 budget estimates, Minister Fenella Mukangara said the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) was in initial stages to enter into contract with the US-based coach.
“Our president deserves kudos for commitment in developing sports as he has always been in the forefront to support different sports associations to improve the standard of sports in the country,” she said.
American basketball coach Albert Sokaitis is already in the country to take up his new job. He will help promote and raise the standard of the sport and conduct clinics and training for local coaches.
TBF assistant secretary general Michael Maluwe said the arrival of the coach would be a key step in basketball promotion, particularly for young players, while the federation’s president, Musa Mziya, also hinted that the coach would embark on a special programme to search for talents and develop them for the period he will be in charge, depending on the availability of funds through sponsorship.
This is the first time the basketball federation deploys a coach on long term basis for promotion of the game. TBF focuses on promotion of the game through participation of young players, particularly in schools where they are readily available.
Presenting the budget estimates, Minister Mukangara also said that sports development in the country was still facing a myriad of challenges, including acute shortage of well trained experts in different sports disciplines, limited budget to meet the expectations of sports associations and participation of the public in sports development activities.
However, she said, her ministry will continue to work hard to overcome the challenges, saying further that a Bill for the new sports development policy has already been presented to the government’s top level for endorsement.
“We’ve decided to review the policy in order to update the document for it to go with the rapid changes in sports development in the country and world at large as well as to give it much impetus,” she said. The government has also prepared a draft Bill to adopt World Anti-Doping (WADA) codes in a bid to fight against performance enhancing drugs in sports.
Mukangara said the government has also supported sports associations to send athletes to various international events such as the Olympic Games and Paralympics, adding that the ministry was searching for local and foreign sponsors to support sports development programmes.
“At the moment talks are in advance stage between the ministry and Clemson University of the US and the Newmans University of UK for joint sports development projects. Our main focus is to improve the capacity of Mallya Sports College in Mwanza,” she said.
However, presenting the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Development speech, the committee’s Vice-Chairperson, Said Mtanda, was pessimistic on the allocation of budget in sports development.
He said the government should set aside a realistic budget to implement sports development projects such as construction of Phase Two of the National Sports Complex in Dar es Salaam and funds to support national teams in all sports