The crucial roadmap of developing entrepreneurship among youth athletes’ development is dependent upon the quality of sports development programmes from grassroots level and leadership competencies of sport administrators, facilitators and coordinators.
These sentiments were shared by sport experts and academics during a panel discussion hosted by the University of Botswana‘s Faculty of Education through Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation and powered by Open Monthly Discussions with Tsosi Magang.
The panel discussion introspected on how sport has the potential to develop and grow young athletes and was held under the topic ‘Entrepreneurship and Life Skills through Sport: A tool to Develop Youth’.
In order to develop and change life skills of young sports men and women to turn their talent into a living, UB partnered in a project with the Alliance For Africa Partnerships and other institutions of higher learning also committed to sport development such as University of Ghana, Michigan State University (USA) and the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) respectively.
When giving an overview of the project‘s progress and outcomes, Thuso Mphela – the project coordinator – said they are committed to instil an entrepreneurship mind-set and life skills among athletes at a tender age, noting that in many instances lack of entrepreneurship approach by young athletes had impeded their growth and better chances of success in sport.
“This project involves multi disciplines of pioneering youth development through instilling business mind-set for them to invest out of their talents or abilities. We select and train young people aged between 13-19 years by developing sport curricula, teaching them business planning in order to achieve or produce well rounded sport personnel,” said Mphela.
The Michigan State University-based Professor Leapetswe Malete contended that there is a need to develop Youth in Sport locally and Africa at large so that the region can turn into formidable side when it comes to participate in high international sport events such as the Olympics.
He charged that offering adequate training and support towards the youth in sport will results in highly orientated and visionary athletes, adding that they will possess vast of skills such as timely and conscious decision making, goal setting and entrepreneurial skills.
Malete, who is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology in Michigan State University, further revealed that the knowledge and ideas that he gets from sport psychologists, coordinators and other stakeholders in sport development in the USA context, make him remain confident that Botswana’s sport development can reach the next level.