The recent heat wave has forced athletes to adjust their usual training times. Temperatures have recently soared above 40 degrees Celsius in Botswana. According to the report from the Department of Meteorological Services the heat wave will continue until the end of the year. Township Rollers Manager Motshegetsi Mafa said their players train once a day at eight in the morning to try and avoid the heat. “There is nothing that we can do because the pitches that we train in do not have lights. If we had such then we would be training at night when it is a little bit cooler,” he said.
Mafa said that it would be unfair for them not to consider the welfare of the players in this heat. Players have been advised to put on sunscreen for training. Rollers goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe team said that the heat has been very intense for him, resulting in constant headaches. Local runner Pako Seribe said they have been training on track at around 5pm since last year. He said even though this time around it is too hot it is better as compared to early afternoon. He said the only thing that they are doing at the moment is to make sure that they take in more water when training than they did before. Chairperson of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Medical Committee Dr. Lesedinyana Odiseng said because of this heat they had to advise the BFA on best ways to safeguard player’s lives. He said the hot temperature can affect someone who is exercising badly because they sweat too much and then loose water which can lead to heat exhaustion.
They have advised BFA to play matches in cooler times. “More water breaks have also been introduced so that they avoid dehydration,” he said. He said they want all supporters to make sure that they drink a lot of water and always have a bottle of water with them. He said they should desist from wearing dark clothes as they attract heat. He confirmed that at BFA games they will always have a small clinic so that they can be able to address the situation where someone just faints or experience any other problem.
He advised athletes to make sure that at this time they refrain from alcohol completely because after taking alcohol or anything with caffeine like tea, they will then get too dehydrated and that can cause problems for them.