THE Inter-Military School Games have been launched, and are now raging at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, pitting young players from schools owned by armed forces units.
The games are welcome, since they bring another opportunity for talented youth to showcase their skills.
We take the coming of the Inter-Military School Games as a success story of the grassroots programmes, whose benefits are mirrored through the success of the national under-17 team, Serengeti Boys and the women teams, Twiga Stars and Kilimanjaro Queens.
The games must be taken seriously and supported by stakeholders of all major sports if the country is to unearth the next generation of future stars.
In the past, the inter-school games were on a relatively high level, and clubs took advantage to scout for the most promising players in football, athletics, netball, volleyball and basketball.
The games, like any other major sporting event, must be supported and promoted so that they can attract a good audience, because nowadays a lot of people seem to have lost interest in this kind of competition, and rarely go to watch their young boys and girls competing.
The importance of these games can be compared to the Inter-Secondary School games, (Umisseta), since they can also produce some of the country’s top football players and athletes.
And if you compare the level of the inter-school competitions of the past with what we have today, you will find that the difference is as clear as day and night. The only spectators are students who come to cheer the teams.
That is why the people who manage sports in the country need to go back to the drawing board and find out why things are not going as anticipated compared to ten years ago.
As years progress even the students are no longer interested to attend, simply because they see no reason to.
In countries where they know what it takes to compete at the highest level, athletes start preparations from a very young age, and Tanzania must not allow to be left behind.
It is only football which seems to capture the interest of the masses in the games, but other sports like athletics, basketball and volleyball don’t seem to get their desired attention.
If we start with young boys and girls in schools, trust me, the results will be a lot better.