SWIMMERS from six countries of Africa witnessed the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe officially opening CANA Zone III Championship at HOPAC School in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
His presence evidences how the country values such an event which Tanzania hosts for the first time since inception over five decades ago. But, more importantly it shows how serious Tanzania swimming Associations (TSA) has been fighting to make the sport one of the country’s medal hopes.
Though hosting the continental level event seems to have a little impact to the football-centric Tanzanian majority, it is actually a big honour to the country and it shows maturity in organising global level competitions.
By hosting it, TSA has done something that many sports bodies scarcely manage as there are many challenges to overcome and criteria to meet to achieve the desired goal.
While organising the CANA Zone III, TSA also took troubles to prepare the winning side similarly to the way countries hosting big events like Olympic, World Cup or Club Games, do. It looks a visionary move that Tanzania as a hosting nation, opted to field two teams, Tanzanite and Platinum under coaches Alex Mwaipasi and Michael Livingstone.
We see it as a good test to the swimmers as having two teams means more players will get an opportunity to test their skills against Africa’s top swimmers, a situation likely to reinforce our athletes’ skills teams and make them even stronger for other upcoming swimming competitions.
Though it is apparent it won’t be an easy ride for the home teams bearing in mind that other competitors from outside the nation like Zambia, Kenya and South Africa are equally good and well prepared, taking part in it will verily help them in one way or another.
We end up wishing our envoys in CANA Zone III Swimming Championship a great success and make their dream to use the event strategically to shape and further drill them for the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year and the Youth Olympics in Argentina next year come true.