The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) chairperson Solly Reikeletseng is delighted at the commission’s progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan Vision 2028. The 2028 strategy is a 16-year plan that came into effect in 2013. To ensure smooth implementation of the strategy, the commission divided it into four-year plans until 2028. Reikeletseng said after an evaluation of the first quarter (2013-2016), it is clear that the commission is on the right direction to achieving its objective. He said to monitor the commission’s performance four high level targets have been identified that will help drive the strategy. The four high level targets include contribution of sport to society, increase in athletes’ performance, increase in sport participation and increase in hosting high level profile sport events. Reikeletseng said he is happy to reveal that they have achieved good results in all areas “In line with all the four areas of focus we set our objectives, measures and initiatives to drive the strategy. I am therefore happy to report that we have achieved well on those areas,” he said.
On the increase in athletes’ performance, Reikeletseng said it is visible that local athletes are continuing to take the international arena by storm, saying national sport associations such as athletics, karate, boxing, swimming, softball and volleyball continue to represent the country well. He said this is attributed to the development programmes that the commission is implementing such as Centres of Sport Excellence, Elite Scholarship Programme, and Debswana Re Ba Bona Ha Sport Development Programme. “You will note that good performance in youth structures has a natural effect of a better performance at senior level,” he said. Reikeletseng pointed to another indicator of achievement being the increase in hosting high profile sport events. The recent successful hosting of the U-21 Netball World Youth Cup was top of his list as an example. A number of other events are still on the cards for Botswana. “In two months’ time we will be hosting yet another milestone in line with hosting of high profile sport events. This is the World Baseball Softball Congress scheduled for October 2017. Next year we will be hosting the International Working Group on Women and Sport Congress,” he said.
On sport contribution to society the BNSC chairman said though it was not easy to justify the contribution when they started, measures have since been devised to measure it. “We have since devised measures to assess that. One of the indicators is through the measurement of contribution of sport to the Gross Domestic Product,” said Reikeletseng. He revealed that currently sport contributes 0.44% to the GDP which is subject to change depending on how much expenditure goes into sport on an on-going basis. Reikeletseng said the good progress is credited to the collective effort and leadership of the BNSC Board, the leadership of National Sport Associations. He commended government of Botswana through the efforts of Minister Thapelo Olopeng at the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture Development for the annual grant that help run all the commission’s programmes. He said the commission will continue to work hard towards the achievement of all the other four year strategies until 2028. Though he is also happy with the progress BNSC CEO Falcon Sedimo acknowledged that there is still a lot to do to further develop sport in the country.
Sedimo said the commission for example is working on resourcing the centres of excellences which are the nurturing camps for the local athletes. Sedimo said there is also a thought to restructure these centres for them to be more effective. “Even though it is still a thought the minister feels these centres are too many and need to be reduced for effectiveness,” said Sedimo. The centres of excellences have been very crucial in the production of some of the athletes which are currently doing well in the international arena. The likes of Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda are some of the products of these centres.