Various sports leaders from across national sport associations have hailed the appointment of Tumiso Rakgare as the minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development with open hands. This follows the formation of new government after the country went to the polls three weeks ago. Rakgare will be assisted by Buti Billy. Rakgare comes at a time in which many things are in disarray in the local sporting fraternity, key amongst them being limited funding, poor or unavailability of sports facilities. Key amongst some of his first assignments will be appointing new chairperson and deputy for Botswana National Sports Commission(BNSC) since those who have been at the helm of the organization have been on interim basis.
From the onset Rakgare was in pole position to grab the appointment as his name kept cropping up ever since winning the elections. At the age of 36 most believe he is the suitable man for the job considering his age as well as experience with the sporting fraternity .Though his educational background says nothing about sports administration he was a sports journalist of repute during his days behind the microphone. His time with sports date as far as 2004 until 2014 where he worked as sports presenter at Yarona FM, Duma FM and e-Botswana. It is for these reasons that many believe he is the right man for the job because he understands the challenges.
“I’m happy and hopeful that considering minister Rakgare’s past and his current connection with sports. Whilst understanding that he will be guided by the existing government policies and practices on sports matters i am hopeful he will dully advance the case for more attention to sports. There are lot of areas that needs the minister’s attention , that is the review of the BNSC Act, funding for sports especially sustained and structured athletes development . In line with this a serious realignment and rationalization of education polices as they impact on sport development is needed. Resolving the operation details of schools of excellence so that they become real centers of excellence in all respects is one of the matters which need attention,” said Botswana Volleyball Federation president Daniel Molaodi.
The same sentiments have been echoed by Botswana Karate Association (BoKA) president Tshepo Bathai who believes the new minister has what it takes to steer sports to great heights. “We definitely welcome his appointment; personally I have total confidence in him as he has thorough understanding of sports issues. As a former journalist he is knowledgeable of what is needed to develop sports to greater heights. But we expect a lot of things from him like a complete review of BNSC Act such that we align it very well with international best practice standards in sports. There is also a need for one on one meeting with minister because this can assist in understanding each sporting code. And attendance of BNSC or BNOC meetings by the minister will be highly welcomed from our side,” he said.
“Basically with his experience in sports and energy he has, we are very much optimistic for change for the better. We expect simple engagements which bears results, whatever method is used as long as it brings results and comply to governance issues we don’t have any problem with that,” explained Botswana Table Tennis president Kudzanani Motswagole. Since the appointment is done and dusted time for action is now. Much of work and support from the minister and his team is expected as the country heads to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year. Funding for the competition has been a great headache in terms of aiding preparations for athletes such that many players qualify for the quadrennial competition.