Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has been commended for its continued impressive representation of the country at regional and international competitions. Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Chief Executive Officer Falcon Sedimo appreciated the tremendous growth that athletics has shown in recent years. He said the code always represent Botswana well in all competitions. Sedimo said the country recognises the marvellous contribution that is made by sports administrators. He said this at the sending off ceremony of the athletes going to participate at the World Junior Championships in Poland. The team of 10 athletes left the country on Saturday for the competition that start on 17 July, 2016 in Poland. Sedimo assured government’s support to further develop athletes from grassroots to elite level.
He however called on all stakeholders to work hard to ensure that the country achieve the Vision 2028 in sport. He also called on them to work hard in getting more female into athletics. “I understand that of the ten athletes that are leaving today nine are male and only one female. We need to change this and encourage more female to have interest and to work hard in athletics,” said Sedimo. Turning to the athletes Sedimo told them to be themselves when they are at the championships and perform their level best. He said their only opponents should be their previous times and they should only fight to beat their own times. “Rise and shine and make the country proud. The path has already been cleared for you it is only left for you to finish what has been started,” he said.
Sedimo however gave a stern warning to the athletes never to be tempted to use substances to enhance their abilities no matter what. He called on the administrators to make athletes aware of doping and its outcomes. “Doping does not only tarnish the image of the country but also affect the health and career of the athletes,” said Sedimo. Botswana sends to the World Junior Championships a very strong team. It is believed that the team will bring back home a medal from the championships. The team is made of among others Africa’s 400m Champion and Olympic bound Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda. Also in the team is the only female Galefele Moroko. The three are currently in Germany where they are in a camp in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
On behalf of the team Aobakwe Malau promised the nation that they are going to Poland to compete. Malau said they will do their level best to make the country proud. BAA president Moses Bantsi also believe that they have sent a strong team to represent the country. he however pointed out that they are not putting the team under any pressure when they get to the world junior championships. The championships start starts on 17 July, 2016 and end on 24 July, 2016. The team is expected to come back home on July 26, 2016.