Local athletes’ ‘poverty’ concerns legend Ikangaa

Ikangaa made the remarks on Tuesday shortly after submitting his nomination form at the AT offices in Dar es Salaam. He said lack of proper and well focused programmes have made local runners being very weak and economically poor while those from neighbouring countries are making fortunes.

Ikangaa, who had previously served as the AT Secretary General post for ten years also underlined lack of commitment and will to serve and guide local athletes has recently seen ‘timid’ local athletes turning up for lowest tier events, which could hardly propel them to success.

“These days we hardly send runners to compete in money spinning events, which I think is among the main undoing for the sport to grow.

I also don’t believe that we lack quality… what we lack is organization on the part of our leaders,” he said. He promised if elected to the post to set in place short, medium and long term strategy on talent identification and use his status to convince sponsors to venture in programmes directed towards support training and grooming young runners who can change the situation.

Ikangaa with the best personal record of 2:08.00 in marathon, said change is a must at present for the country to quench the medal thirst of going without medals in various continental and global competitions. He also insisted that time is up for local athletes to improve the economic status.

He said the country needs track and field events professional trainers to revive the lost glory, saying further that Tanzania is endowed with a lot of talented athletes in both fields. Ikangaa is facing competition from the incumbent President, Francis John and a businessman, Henry Nyiti.

Those vying for the Secretary General include incumbent Suleiman Nyambui, John Manyama and John Bayo while Mgeni Bilal is so far the sole candidate for the treasurer post. Deadline for picking in and returning forms is February 29.

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