Tanzania: Make Sports for Health Everyone’s Culture

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SPORTS for health is here to stay, as evidenced by this year’s Uhuru Day celebrations, where sports ceased to be a solely youth affair.

Unlike in the past when sports was exclusively meant for the youth or young generation, this year’s sports scene witnessed a growing number of government officials, legislators, corporate firms’ top executives and diplomats in various sports grounds.

Worth to note in the whole Uhuru Day sporting excellence is that golf and football drew most of the non-youth members to mark the Uhuru Day on various sports ground. Kondoa Urban legislator, Edwin Sanda, has decided to venture into playing golf, saying the beauty of the game can be seen by people who are engaged in the sport as he pledged his support.

The legislator expressed determination to keep improving as a player but also use his position to help promote the growth of the game in the country. Sanda made his remarks during Uhuru Golf Cup competition at the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) Lugalo course in Dar es Salaam over the weekend. He was among over 60 golf enthusiasts who turned up to compete in a one day 18 holes tournament. Sanda took to the swing once again, just a day after representing Tanzania legislators’ team which made its maiden appearance at the East African Community (EAC) Inter- Parliamentary golf competition at the same course. He said he started playing golf a few weeks earlier and he is already addicted to it. He added that it is time Tanzanians change the notion that the game is reserved for the rich only, and announced to be a good ambassador to lure more legislators to join the sport.

“At the next Uhuru Cup competitions, I can assure you that over 20 MPs will join the tournament,” he promised. Leaving his military outfit at home, Malawian Colonel, Kwondwani Kalino claimed the inaugural Uhuru Cup title after beating all his challengers.

Playing off handicap-15, Kalino who is the Malawian Military Consul to Tanzania emerged the overall winner after posting twounder par nett 70 to win the 18- hole stroke play event. The champion lauded organizers and sponsors of the event for staging beautiful competition which also has uncountable health benefits as well. Other players who helped to color the day included the Lugalo Club’s Competition Secretary Enock Magile who finished third with 77 nett.

Dar-based Zambian Brigadier General Stephen Mulenga who carded 85 nett to win Division C top prize as the second place went to Charles Otieno with 91 nett. Said Nkya who is among the first general managers during Mwalimu Nyerere’s reign won the senior category after he carded 72 while his fellow senior citizen, Joseph Tairo hit 79 to finish second.

The Kondoa Urban MP, Sanda was among the players who represented Tanzania in the just concluded East Africa Community (EAC) 8th Inter-Parliamentary games, which he said helped to strengthen ties among members of the EAC block.

Tanzania hosted a remarkable 11-day EAC parliamentary games which unfolded in four venues, namely the National Stadium, Uhuru Stadium, the National Indoor Stadium and JMK Park in Dar es Salaam respectively The event provided a good platform for the parliamentarians to come together and share knowledge as well as experience on how to accelerate growth of the region in economy, political as well as social areas.

Again, it was a good moment for all legislators who took part in the competition to showcase what they are capable of doing outside their respective parliament chambers as far as sports is concerned.

In his opening remarks, Speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai hailed all the competing EAC teams for descending into the country to take part in the prestigious tournament. In his speech a day later, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who was the guest of honor during the football game involving hosts Tanzania and Burundi at the National Stadium described sports as an important tool to unite people.

The PM said sport is an important tool towards enhancing EAC unity and very beneficial to the health as well as physical exercises. With more top officials now fully engaged, it is a relief that East African integration is drawing more middle aged citizens into sport fields as witnessed during the two events.

Obesity, blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes will become history if sports for health is developed to become everyone’s culture. The health benefits of playing sports include proper weight management; efficient functioning of the heart, controlled diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, improved blood circulation, lower hypertension and stress levels.

We have noted through what we have seen among the golfers and legislators who took part in two separate events that sport helps in toning muscles and strengthening bones. It also brings positive energy, discipline, and helps in building self-esteem and mutual respect. Playing sports is a favorite activity for many people around the world. It provides us with enjoyment and also freshens up our mind.

However, engaging in sports is actually more than mere running, jumping, or kicking the ball on the field. Indulging in sports helps our body to function smoothly and more efficiently. Sports involve the activity of each and every muscle in our body. This strengthens the body and promotes good health.

Playing sports helps the heart in pumping more blood because it is a type of workout for the body. Scientific findings indicate that playing sports helps the insulin to perform in a better manner.

This helps diabetic people to make most of the insulin present in their body. Sports can deal a blow to obesity, a problem facing millions of people across the world. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, may result in a stroke or heart disease.

Hypertension can be prevented by being physically active or by playing sports. Playing sports also help in maintaining lower levels of bad cholesterol. Some experiments showed that compared to athletes, bad cholesterol levels in sedentary people was much higher, while good cholesterol levels were significantly higher in athletes.

Regularly indulging in exercise and sports makes the body immune to many diseases that usually affect a person due to weak immunity. Playing sports increases sweat production and also removes toxins. Due to the rise in body temperature, the chances of bacterial growth also lessen. Sports are actually the best form of work out for muscles.

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