Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) and Botswana Softball Association (BSA) have been confirmed as full members of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC). This happened at the BNOC Annual General Assembly (AGA) held on Thursday when the assembly unanimously ratified a recommendation from BNOC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho to give the two sport codes full membership. Serufho said the recommendation came after the two codes’ acceptance to participate at the coming 2020 Olympic Games to be held In Tokyo, Japan. BOKA and BSA have in the past been treated as affiliate members of BNOC since they were not part of the Olympics. “According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for a sport code to participate at the Olympics the federation must be a full member of the National Olympic Committee,” said Serufho.
The general assembly then unanimously voted for the two to be given full membership status into BNOC. BONC chairperson Negros Kgosietsile welcomed the two associations into full membership. Kgosietsile said he hopes the associations will add value and contribute meaningfully to the development of sport in Botswana. He said as more codes are added to the Olympic Games, Botswana stands a better chance to win medals at the games. Meanwhile Serufho said the elite athlete development programme is slowly paying off based on the performance of the team that represented the country at the 2016 Olympic Games. He said even though Team Botswana did not bring back medals their performance was good. Serufho urged national federations to be responsive to BNOC request to prepare the athletes.
“Sometimes associations take too long to respond to our requests and this at times denies athletes chances that might be available for them,” he said. He requested the federations to start preparing for the coming games for better results for the team. The year 2016 marks the end of the BNOC’s 8-year strategy. “We are now reviewing the strategy and then we will be coming up with a four-year strategy,” said Kgosietsile. He said they were now bringing in a four year strategy to be in line with that of the IOC.