MYWORD ON SUNDAY: What does the Sport Commission bring?

SHARE   |   Sunday, 12 April 2015   |   By Mpho Dibeela

And so Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) is no more. In its place there is now a Botswana National Sports Commission, a supposedly big animal with more powers and hopefully more resources. One takes this opportunity to welcome this move with the trust that it represents a real break from the past. This, I hope, heralds a new vibrant and appealing sports atmosphere. I take it that the previous squabbles that impeded sports progress between the then BNSC and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) will now be a thing of the past. Afterall all parties played a role in the discussions and debates that preceded the formation of the Commission and should have sought role-clarity. Of paramount importance to me is the issue of delivery. That which a council failed to do a commission must achieve. Otherwise it will be a mere empty name-change; a window dressing charade. The change brought by the commission should in no time be obvious. Resource allocation and prioritisation of projects should show that a new atmosphere is upon us. One good development is that at least the commission is taking off under a new Chief Executive. He takes full charge of the Commission and its new policies and hopefully nothing of the past will affect how he or she looks at things. It would have been even more helpful had he/she been given the chance to bring in his whole new executive team to deliver on the mandate at hand. However, I trust that the professionals who have served the council so well so far will not fail under the Commission. There has been so much that the council was to do and that now falls to the commission to do. Enhanced systematic grassroots development of talent, setting up of competitive infrastructure, and building up professional sport are some of the key assignments for the Commission. While the Council could point to the Re Ba Bona Ha programme in attempting to develop sport at grassroots level there is much more that still requires to be done in building high competitiveness at that level and creating leagues that ensure that children involved do not take light what they learned. The infrastructure for sport in this country still falls far short of enabling the country to host major sport events as the Africa Cup of Nations and other major international tournaments. The commission must be resourceful enough to see to a change in this area. Professional sport is something foreign to us. We remain a country of amateurs. The Commission must create an empowering system for codes to grow from the current paralysis. Sport should be elevated to being a business that hires, nurtures and rewards accordingly. Otherwise parents will continue to whip youngsters that skip school to play football, even if the youngsters would be more gifted in that area. Potentially good players will remain half-hearted about their play because they know that it will never be rewarding enough for them while their colleagues who choose the corporate sector appear to do much better. The Commission should therefore help football, boxing and other codes to fast-track professionalising their sports. As things stands one welcomes the Commission by hoping for the best while fearing the worst.       

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