• Marathon issues should be at the top of CEO’s to-do list
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has welcomed the move by the local sport governing body Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to hire a Chief Executive Officer to run the association. BNSC’s decision is reportedly motivated by the fast growth of athletics in the country. BAA vice president Glody Dube said the move will help BAA to grow, saying currently they run the association as volunteers and that makes it difficult to deliver on some of the projects.
He hailed BNSC’s move, saying it will see Botswana athletics growing to another level. Local athletics has over the years shown great improvement and growth to the delight of many. The good performance has even caught the eyes of some countries and is now wishing to send their athletes to be trained in Botswana.
It is, however, not yet known who will take the helm at BAA as the first CEO. The BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng said preparations for willing the CEO post are still on-going. He, however, said the candidate is expected to be appointed in a few months. Reikeletseng recently embarked on a benchmarking mission in Congo Brazzaville with regard to the CEO position.
“The benchmarking mission was very successful as it has given us a good opportunity to learn how successful countries do things. This was a worthwhile mission and it will greatly inform us going forward,” said Reikeletseng. He is adamant that the CEO will be appointed very soon. Asked about the process of appointment, Reikeletseng said the position will be advertised and anyone could apply.
On the candidate they would prefer Dube said they want a person who is versatile and well versed with local athletics issues. “We do not want someone who does not know or will need to learn about athletics while on the job. Athletics is growing every day and it needs someone abreast with the issues at the same time having good administrative skills,” cautioned Dube.
He said the candidate should have good communication skills. BAA is one of the codes that have in the past been hard hit by infightings, as a result some within the association say they want someone who will be neutral and lead without favouritism. They pointed out that the person should be hard working as all the responsibilities will be transferred to him or her.
Whoever the COE might be, he or she will be faced with resolving the troubling issue of marathons which are mushrooming across the country. Dube said this is a worrisome issue so it should be at the top of to-do list of the CEO. The BAA has as of now freezed all requests to hold anymore marathons. For some time the association has been complaining that the organisers are only using the marathons to advance their agendas and neglect the runners.
Even though Dube could not say it, it looks like the CEO will have a mammoth task of seeing through the envisaged building of a High Performance Centre in Botswana. The building of the centre was supposed to have started in July. Dube admitted that they are way behind their schedule as there are some things which need to be addressed first.
He could not reveal what is holding the project back, saying discussions are still on going. Nonetheless, he is confident that the project will take off as it is a very important development to Botswana. A development of this nature is obviously necessary for Botswana to train her own athletes to reduce costs to take them abroad.
This could also attract more countries to send their athletes to train in Botswana.