Botswana is sending a team of 18 young athletes including their coaches to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. The team will leave on Tuesday.
Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Acting President Botsang Tshenyego encouraged the young athletes to understand that what doesn't hurt doesn't work. "You have to practice good clean habits and you shouldn't be under any pressure," he said. The former Commonwealth deputy Secretary General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, who is currently vying for the Secretary General post, told the athletes that they should know that they are as good as the athletes that they will be competing with in Samoa. She said as the 53 nations of the Commonwealth they look up to the youth as the future because they know they have a role to play now if they are to become leaders of the future. Botswana has been participating in the Commonwealth Games since 1974. With the efforts by BNOC to educate the athletes and the media on anti-doping, Masire-Mwamba cautioned the athletes that since Botswana is very compliant with anti-doping laws, they should be a good example of clean sport and be careful with what they take. Masire-Mwamba said even though she is very aware that cheering is good, the public and the private sector need to do a little bit more than just cheering. Team General Manager Wedu Motswetla echoed in confidence when the flag was presented to them that they will carry it with dignity when they get there. Some of the athletes that make up her team are the shining 400m sensation Karabo Sibanda, brilliant boxer Rajab Mohammed, Kabo Mphale in long jump, David Vande Colff in swimming, Kgalalelo Tlalaanyane in 100m hurdles and Aobakwe Nkobela in high jump. The team chef de mission is Michael Moroka. Local organising chairman Marumo Morule pointed out that that as a nation they are very proud of the team and as such encouraging them to be proud of themselves also. "We are aware of the efforts it takes to do a team, and that is handwork," he said. He recognised Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) for having been supportive to them. The 400m stunner Sibanda said they going to the games to do their best. He encouraged Batswana to rally behind them.