By Joseph Mchekadona
International Athletics federation (IAAF) lecturer Tagara Tendayi says Athletics Sports Associations in Africa should come up with ways which will help to woo sponsors as well as to come up with ways of developing the sport from the grassroots.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Azania Post in Dar es Salaam, Tendayi who holds IAAF Level 5 coaching certificate, said athletics is not performing well due to the fact that it lack superior sponsors and also geographical position.
The Zimbabwean coach said Africa has a lot of athletics talents, but they lack support to utilize their potentials.
He said Kenya and Ethiopia have produced top athletes because they are beneficiaries of good cooperate world support.
“Yes, we have sponsors who financially and materially support athletics, but the problem is that they (sponsors) are investing in few African countries leaving majority remaining behind when it comes to medals and tournaments,” he said.
He added: “The other challenge which is hindering the growth of the sport in that due to our geographical position, you know athletics is a game of train and compete, Its difficult and expensive for an athlete in Africa to move say from Zimbabwe to Compete in Egypt within a day , while in Europe it’s easy for an athlete to move from England to Sweden within day”
He said due to Geographic position of the continent many athletes are not exposed to top event which on top of being competitive they are also well paying.
He challenged African Athletics Sports Associations to come up with ways which will help develop the sports at the same time attracting the cooperate World.
Tendayi hailed the local athletics association (AT) for having good plans which he said if well implemented will take the sport in the country to its glory days.
“ I had a brief discussions with AT executives where they told me there long and short term plans , they have a good vision for the sports in the country , it a road map which only needs implementation” he said.