WHILE all eyes are on the national football team that grabbed AFCON finals ticket, Tanzania Amateur Volleyball Association (TAVA) is struggling to send the youth teams for the U-21 African Nations Beach Volleyball Championship. The continental level finals are scheduled to be held in Algiers, Algeria from 3-8 April this year.
For the first time in the history, Tanzanian teams of girls and boys have booked their tickets to the prestigious final after doing well in the Zone Five U-21 qualifying competition held in Dar es Salaam early this month.
TAVA secretary general Alfred Selengia told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that financial constraints likely to deny Tanzanian teams to participate in the event. Selengia said that his association is looking for about 16m/- to enable it send teams of four players, a coach and one official for the event.
“We have already sent sponsorship request to several companies and institutions, but we are yet to receive any response,” said Serengia. He, however, added that they also appeal for the government, through National Sports Council (NSC) to support them, but no response given to-date. National team coach Shukuru Ally also expressed his grief after the teams failed to pitch a camp for the event.
“Situation is very critical, it’s a big disappointment as a coach we have put much efforts from the start, expecting to finish the job well, but if we miss the finals it will be a big blow to us and players,” he said.
“Tanzania for the first time qualified for the youth competition, but to miss the opportunity to compete in the event will deny our youths’ chance to get the much needed international exposure,” he said. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania qualified during the Zone Five championship held at Mbalamwezi Beach Hotel in Dar es Salaam.
The competition saw Tanzania and Kenya emerge winners of girls and boys’ categories. Tanzania girls’ team formed by Jonia Jovin and Kuruthumu Jumanne, who are students of Makongo Secondary of Dar es Salaam.
Fred Masinga and Baraka Mabeyo also made Tanzania proud when they finished second behind Kenya. Ally was quoted as saying: “It will be nice to compete among other African top teams; it is only where youths can learn more and motivated to take game more seriously.”