THE newly elected Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) leadership has highlighted four priorities as it seeks to revitalize the ailing standard of the sport in the country.
TBF Commissioner for Development, Technical and Competition, Manase Zablon, told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam that after being elected in Dodoma over the weekend, the new leadership under John Bandie has set major priorities to ensure they revive and promote the game countrywide.
Zablon said one of the federation's priorities to ensure they restore the lost glory of the game, which is among youth favourite sports, is to bring unity in the federation as the previous leadership was entangled into a deep crisis.
"Our first major task is to make sure we bring peace and unity in the federation so as to enable the newly elected leadership to operate smoothly and ensure other priorities are achieved," he said.
He also said that the new leadership will focus on promoting the sport countrywide by reviving regional basketball associations and ensure that all associations are active to give the sport a national outlook.
"Currently many regional basketball associations are not active, which is not good for the development and survival of the game," added Zablon. The third priority is to review the selection of players for national teams, which represent the nation in various international assignments.
At present, Zablon said, the national teams' selection is dominated by Dar es Salaam-based players and this does not give them a national outlook.
"We want to have national teams which have a national image and this can be made possible by reviving the sport countrywide by making sure that all regions have active basketball associations and have active leagues," he insisted.
Another area of focus Zablon said will be searching for sponsors who will assist the federation in managing the national teams when they are faced with international assignments.
Meanwhile, TBF has clarified about the situation facing the Dar es Salaam Regional Basketball Association (Basketball Dar es Salaam). Zablon said BD is not a TBF member because it is not registered by the Registrar of Sports Associations and Clubs. Zablon said the BD officials have been advised to register in accordance with the regulations.
"Basketball Dar es Salaam (BD) is registered as a commercial entity at BRELA so it is obvious that they are not engaged in sports," he explained. "We have advised them to register BD with the Registrar of Sports Associations and Clubs to be an active TBF member."
Zablon said the federation's new leadership is planning to meet with BD leaders to talk about the matter. He said losing Dar es Salaam will damage the whole sport in the country as the region is vital in basketball development. John Bandie was elected the new TBF president to replace Mussa Mziya.
He collected 24 votes to beat his closest rival and the then vice-president Phares Magesa who had 19 votes. Bandie, whose term began immediately, will be joined by Hamis Jafari and veteran basketball player and coach Saleh Zonga as the vice-president and secretary-general respectively.
Jafari, who was unopposed during the election, received 39 votes out of 43, while Zonga beat fellow aspirant and former deputy secretary general Michael Maluwe by a landslide, winning 29 votes against 13.
Amina Ahmed was the only candidate for the treasurer post and she won all 43 votes. Others voted in for various commission posts include Manase Zablon, Anjela Bondo, Michael Mwita, Patrick Mapete and Aziz Mtogole.