Tanzania to feature in Africa wrestling tourney

TANZANIA: THE United World Wrestling (UWW) has offered Tanzania two slots to participate in the African wrestling competitions this year, as part of initiatives to revive the dormant sport in the country.

Tanzania last featured into major events about a decade ago and has since then remained dormant.

And it is the reason why the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) has decided to invite Vincent Aka, the Development Officer of UWW for the African region to organise a level two-coaching and refereeing seminar at Filbert Bayi Olympafrica Centre in Kibaha, Coast region as part of efforts to revive it back to its lost glory.

The coaching and referee training has been organised by the Tanzania Wrestling Federation (TAWF) in collaboration with the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) and sponsored by the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity programme.

Speaking during the opening of the ten-day workshop, the UWW official disclosed that he was surprised to see Tanzania not participating in major events for over ten years since he took charge of his office as regional development officer, of which he has been tempted to offer the fully sponsored slots in the forthcoming African event in July in Senegal to see it bouncing back.

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In the training that involved 25 coaches and referees from the regions of Mbeya, Arusha, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam, Aka emphasized the need for Tanzania to regain its international presence.

“We are offering these slots for both male and female wrestlers to participate in the African championships, and we will cover all expenses,” he said.

The African championships will take place in Senegal in early July. “We need Tanzania to return to the international stage.

After this training, your country should have representatives in world championships, and coaches and referees should perform their duties effectively for the broader interests of Tanzanian wrestling,” said Aka, an Ivorian national living in France.

Abraham Nkabula, the Secretary-General of Tanzania Wrestling Federation, affirmed that they would honour the opportunity given to them.

“We haven’t participated in international competitions because the association wasn’t accountable in the past, but now we are starting afresh. “We are grateful to Aka, TOC, IOC, and Olympic Solidarity for reintroducing us to the global scene of this sport, and this training has enlightened us,” he said.

He mentioned that out of the two slots provided by UWW, they would select players for intensive preparations before heading to Senegal for the African championships .

“We believe we will perform well there, and it will be our comeback to the international stage. Additionally, some of our referees who complete this training will have the chance to officiate in the East African championships in Kenya,” he added.

Filbert Bayi, the Secretary-General of TOC, urged that the 10-day training should be productive for the growth of the sport in the country and urged coaches to focus on training young talents and nurturing the sport.

Bayi also urged TAWF to collaborate with their counterparts in Zanzibar to revive its wrestling body, enabling them to participate in national and international events.

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