Having been at the helm of sports for so many years, Solly Reikeletseng still has to serve another four years at the top. This time around he will be chairperson of the newly established Botswana National Sports Commission that transited from the Sports Council.
Reikeletseng has become the darling that many love to hate because of always saying his mind and pushing for things to go a certain way. Talking about his new role Reikeletseng said he aims to leave an indelible mark. He said he will make sure that he achieves twice what he did achieve when he was the chairman of the council because now there will be more resources availed.
On what is the difference between the sports council and the commission that has now come to effect, Reikeletseng said the commission is broader than the council in terms of representation. For example, he said it covers disabilities in sports, women in sports, anti-doping, sexual act and many other areas that were not covered by the council.
Experts will be involved for policies to be implemented and a lot of stakeholders will be brought on board. They will also deal with professional sports and its regulations which will help athletes who want to make careers out of sport. He said since this is inclusive it will definitely make young people to perform more than they have been doing. A lot of things have to be done, and he intends to call a ‘Sports Pitso’ to get direction from different stakeholders and the community. He said what they get from the stakeholders will enable them to go back and do the Commission’s strategy. Even if it might seem like it is just a mere change of names; Reikeletseng said a lot of things have to be considered. He said they now have to consider whether they have to change the name, the logo, and whether the BNSC 2028 vision dies with the council or they keep it.
Those are among the many things that they will have to deal with as a commission. Things like budgets will also need to be altered. The P71 million they got this year will need to be increased since now they will be dealing with a robust structure. Issues like stadium management will be put into consideration as they will also be opening the Francistown Stadium next month. One thing that he spoke passionately about is they want to make sure that agents for local athletes are Batswana. He gave examples of Nijel Amos and Amantle Montsho whose agents are foreigners. He said he solely believes that a foreign agent cannot really have the best interest of a local athlete at heart in a way a local will because after all the driving force for them is always money. “There is so much to do in these four years without losing sight,” he said. He revealed that their first big assignment as the Commission will be sending 142 athletes and officials people to the All Africa games. This year they have engaged Brand Botswana because they want to have solid partnerships that can sell this country.
He reiterated that sport sells this country better than other activities because it only takes one person to be on the podium for the world to know about this country. Montsho and Amos are the living testimonies of the effect they had on Botswana brand. He said they will do all to campaign for sponsorships of different sports codes and ensure that they keep positive working partnerships with them.
“We promise less and `deliver more,” he said. He highlighted he is not going to change, but he will still be the impatient person who want things done.