Arusha: Tanzania’s Basketball Capital lacking its own Regional Team
Arusha has always been the country’s Basketball Court, yet the region is yet to have its own team for the dribbling sport.
To address that some 40 young children from various Primary, Secondary and Colleges in Arusha have been placed under special basketball training programs here as the region envisages to create its own team for national and international games.
Organized by the Arusha Basketball Coaches Association, a total of 38 youth attended the inaugural sessions held at the Don Bosco center, located within the Kilimanjaro International Institute for Telecommunications, Electronics and Computers (KIITEC) premises at Suye Hills.
Bariki Kilimba is a basketball coach based in Arusha, who also heads the City Basketball and says the initiative aims at grooming young players in the region because there is a new trend in which many institutions, parastatals and organizations in Tanzania are employing sports personalities.
“Sports, such as basketball, are becoming a new employment opportunity because the army, public and private institutions, colleges and government agencies are seeking talented young people to play in their respective teams,” explained Kilimba.
“The Institute of Accountancy in Arusha (IAA) as well as the University of Dar-es-salaam (UDSM) are also granting scholarships to young basketball players,” added the coach.
According to the coach, the local umpires have launched basketball clinics for pupils, students, street children and college scholars to recruit, groom and train potential players aged between 5 and 18 years.
“We are also using the occasion to announce that the Don Bosco KIITEC center will be the ultimate base for the basketball training,” pointed out Kilimba.
Kilimanjaro International Institute for Telecommunications, Electronics and Computers (KIITEC) on the other hand, will be providing basic and auxiliary Information Communications Training for the young basketball players who may want to join the digital sector including earning scholarships at the campus.
On his part, Martin Stephen, another basketball coach in the program said after the clinic they plan to start serious training and warm-up sessions that will also lead to the creation of an official regional basketball team for Arusha.
Apparently, Arusha, despite being the country’s leading region as far as alternative forms of sports are concerned, did not yet have its own basketball team.