DEPUTY Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Pauline Gekul is planning to visit the national athletics team camp in Arusha to motivate the athletes ahead of their participation in the Olympic Games to be held in July in Tokyo, Japan.
This was said over the weekend by the Sports Officer of the National Sports Council (NSC), Milinde Maona when he paid a visit to the camp on behalf of the council’s Executive Secretary, Neema Msitha.
More than 12 runners are in the camp to prepare for the games to be held from July 23 to August 8 this year. Out of them, only two runners, Alphonce Simbu and Failuna Abdi have qualified for the Games as the rest are in their bid to qualify.
Maona said that the camp is progressing well and that soon the top leadership at the ministerial level will soon visit the camp to follow up their progress and give out their words to the squad.
During his visit, Maona witnessed the team’s athletes practicing at the Burka coffee farm located in Olasiva in Arusha region and later visited their Ngaramtoni camp located in Sokoine Agricultural University (SUA) campus.
Maona said the government will support the athletes, urging those who have qualified to aim for medals while those unqualified should make sure that they do so as they contemplate to participate in the qualifying series next month.
The captain of the team, Alphonce Simbu thanked the NSC official for his visit to give morale to the athletes ahead of their tasks.
He also briefed the official on their progress but requested the government to give out their maximum support for the team’s smooth preparations and participation, including issuing allowances for the athletes to support their families while they are in the camp.
Responding to that, Maona said that all their requests will be answered during the minister’s visit. He also congratulated Athletics Tanzania (AT) for setting up camp despite other challenges they may be facing to accommodate the athletes.