Eastern Africa News Network

Arusha drops out of the National Athletics Championships 2023, citing confusion

The Arusha Regional Athletics Association has made it clear that their runners will not be participating in the forthcoming National Events that are set to take place in Morogoro by the end of September 2023.

According to the Arusha Regional Athletics Association (ARAA) Rogathe Steven they have decided to pull out of the competitions due to the fact that, the organizers have been dilly-dallying with the event.

Apparently, the undecided on-and-off national athletics championships has caused the ARAA to incur major losses during the series of initial preparations.

“They don’t seem to have proper dates, the national athletics tournaments have so far been postponed more than three times,” said Steven, adding that from April to nearly October that is five-months wasted.

Steven explained that they have been preparing teams, training tracks, coaches and athletes for such events, some even traveling long distances to the practising bases, only to have the event postponed without prior notice.

“We have been preparing for the national event for over three times now, spending money, losing time and disturbing sports men and women since April 2023, all for nothing, it is five months down the drain,” pointed out the ARAA official.

“It discourages athletes, confuses sponsors and makes the idea of sending the team to Morogoro very expensive,” added Rogathe Steven.

The other reason is the limited number of athletes that the Athletics Tanzania (AT) has allocated to Arusha, which makes it difficult for the region to participate fully in all events in the national athletics competition.

It was anticipated that all the 31 mainland regions of Tanzania, as well as the Isles would have participated in the National Athletics Championships, but Arusha and a few other precincts have just pulled out.

The Arusha Regional Athletics Association has already written to the National Athletics body (AT) informing them of their decision; “They don’t even have to respond, we simply had to let them know, that is all.”

But having already prepared the athletes for the National event, Arusha is now preparing a major cross-country event involving runners from all over the region as well as special field track racing events at local stadium.