NATIONAL netball team, Taifa Queens, designated coach, Simone McKinnis, has given the Tanzania Netball Association (Chaneta) until the end of this month to confirm her appointment.
Chaneta chairperson Anna Bayi said last week that after waiting for so long the Australian has written them to inquire about the job she was offered in February.
“McKinnis has told us that her patience has been stretched to the limit and now she wants a confirmation by the end of this month (August),” Bayi said.
“She has threatened to turn down our offer and seek employment elsewhere if she doesn't hear from us by Tuesday,” she added.
According to Bayi, McKinnis wants Chaneta to confirm her appointment in writing or send her an air ticket by the set deadline.
Chaneta has already communicated McKinnis' ultimatum to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports but is still waiting for a response.
A ministry official contacted by THISDAY said they were still working on the coach's contract but was not ready to say when she would arrive in the country.
President Jakaya Kikwete offered to employ an expatriate coach for Taifa Queens early this year and committed the government to paying the coach’s salary and living expenses.
McKinnis was recommended by Chaneta early this year after a thorough search conducted with the help of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA).
In February, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports notified her that she had been selected for the job.
McKinnis immediately resigned from her position as Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Australian U-21 netball coach and planned to arrive in Dar es Salaam on April 17 to take up her new role of Tanzania national coach.
Last month, the president endorsed McKinnis' appointment when addressing a special Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) National Congress in Dodoma.
“Bring her (coach) and I will pay her,” Kikwete said amid applause from about 1,900 delegates.
He reiterated his offer during a campaign rally in Mwanza last week where he said the coach would arrive very soon.
Bayi wondered why it was taking too long to seal the coach's contract when the president has already sanctioned her appointment.
“We risk losing a very valuable coach,” she said. “It will be difficult to get another coach of McKinnis' calibre and IFNA will lose faith in Tanzania if we fail to hire her.”
Bayi said they wanted McKinnis to arrive as soon as possible so that she can train the Taifa Queens for the All Africa Championships set for September 5-12 in South Africa,” said Bayi.
The Stars are camping at Kibaha under coaches Mary Protas and Damian Chonya to prepare for the tournament that will determine Africa's two representatives to the 2011 World Cup Championships in Singapore.
McKinnis is believed to have been offered a two-year contract and her salary ranges between $ 3,500 and $5,000 per month.
She will also be provided accommodation and will be entitled to international travel (return ticket for contract period) plus a vehicle or access to a vehicle.
Under Kikwete's initiative, the government has also hired expatriate coaches for soccer, athletics, boxing and judo teams from Brazil and Cuba.
Brazilian Marcio Maximo concluded his contract as the national soccer team, Taifa Stars, coach last month while his compatriot Rodrigo Stockler is still serving as national youth soccer teams trainer.
Cubans Adres Edwardo Baro and Jorge Luis Bravo Rojas take charge of the athletics team while Georvanis Hurtado and Jose Valdes Silva coach the national boxing and judo teams respectively.
McKinnis, the former legend of Australian netball, intends to focus on the development of the national programme with specific emphasis on the progress of the Taifa Queens.
Currently ranked 20th in the world and fourth in Africa, Tanzania aims to be among the top 15 teams in the world by 2012.
McKinnis represented Australia in 67 tests between 1986 and 1998 winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1998 and World Championships in 1991 and 1995.
She had a huge impact at the AIS since her appointment in 2007 and ultimately leading the Australian U-21 team to victory at the 2009 World Youth Netball Championship in the Cook Islands.
“Simone was exceptional in her role as coach of the AIS netball programme and the Australian U-21 team and we thank her for her work over the past three years,” Netball Australia General Manager of High Performance Natalie Wright-Boyd said of the coach.
“The progression of our emerging high performance athletes to prepare for challenges of international competition has been outstanding through her guidance and this was evident in the achievement of the Australian U-21 team winning the 2009 World Youth Netball Championship,” she added.
“Simone has proven to be a coach of immeasurable talent. She has done a wonderful job as head coach of both programmes and for the past three years she has played an integral part in the development of Australia’s best young netball players.
The AIS Netball Programme, which was established as one of the eight foundation sports at the Institute in 1981, is highly regarded as a world class development programme.