Two vie for BAA presidency
16 Mar 2023
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) will on Saturday elect a new committee that will be at the helm of the organisation for the next four years.
Two sport administrators, the organisation’s current president, Paphane Botlhale and Moses Bantsi will fight for BAA presidency position.
The two candidates will be among those vying for eight leadership positions contested for.
BAA is among the code which bring joy and pride to the country as athletes always hoist Botswana flag high in different competitions, both regionally and internationally.
Some athletics pundits are of the view that delegates should vote for credible leaders who would prioritise athletes’ welfare and lure more sponsors to the code.
Sunday Standard sport editor Botlhale Koothopile, who has been following the development at the association, said in an interview that both Botlhale and Bantsi were experienced leaders in their own right.
He said they had served athletics and sports for a very long time.
And given their track records, he said affiliates would have a hard time selecting who would lead them in the next four years.
Koothopile said clubs were struggling and that delegates should vote for someone who would help them get the much needed resources to produce better results.
He cited Jwaneng Athletics Clubs as one of the clubs, whose athletes travel many kilometres from their base to access training facilities.
The resources needed, he said could come in monetary form or equipment saying it was taxing for clubs to train athletes in the current environment.
Koothopile further said delegates should vote for someone who is able to protect clubs, which develop fresh talent.
Also, he said there were many instances where financially strong teams preyed on those who developed athletes but unable to financially support their athletes.
“This will not only results in such clubs failing to develop, but some may end up closing shop.
And this has a bearing on BAA.
This issue of rich clubs taking poorer clubs’ prized athletes is already causing consternation amongst clubs and needs to be addressed.
Voters must therefore elect someone who can bring solutions to this kind of problem,” he said.
Koothopile said the development of female athletes must be also prioritised, given that while the country churned out many world class male athletes, the same could not be said about female ones.
“We have very capable female athletes but most of them drop out. We cannot afford to have one best female athlete in a decade. We need to regularly produce them as we do with male athletes,” he said.
As such, he said affiliates should elect president with the best strategy to close identified gaps. Ends
Source : BOPA
Author : Anastacia Sibanda
Location : GABORONE
Event : INTERVIEW
Date : 16 Mar 2023