January 17, 2023
The two-day event is a fourth athletics contest for women designed to promote gender equality through women's participation in sports.
Mr. Juma IKANGAA, a former athlete, proposed the Ladies First athletics event in 2017, aiming to close the gap of women's participation in sports, although records are on board that the first ever-international athletics medal was brought by a female athlete, Ms. Theresa Dismas in 1965 at the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
"Mr. Ikangaa came to our office and proposed the idea of empowering women by having an athletics competition for women athletes only. JICA accepted the idea and here we are. You may wonder why Mr. Juma Ikangaa approached our Office and not any other. The reason is quite simple and clear," Chief Representative of JICA Tanzania Office Mr. YAMAMURA Naofumi said.
The name of "JUMA IKANGAA" is a very popular name in Japan. This is because during the 1980s and 1990s when he was very active in athletics, he participated in many marathon races in Japan, and sometimes he even defeated Japanese top athletes, to the extent that his name almost became a household name in Japan.
According to him, the event has held very successfully for three consecutive years in 2017, 2018 and 2019, but postponed in 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am delighted to note that the event has now been resumed after the three years of its suspension. The last three competitions were very successful because they attracted competitors from all Regions of both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar and in the 2018 edition, some athletes from South Sudan also joined," he noted.
The NCS Secretary General Ms. Neema Msitha said the contesters from all 31 regions have confirmed their participation.