Kanye — Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) chief executive officer Falcon Sedimo has commended the Southern District for its commitment towards developing sport in the country, particularly among young people.
Addressing a full council meeting in Kanye on Thursday, Sedimo said the district had religiously participated in the Botswana Games since inception in 2007.
He said their commitment was in line with the initiative's mandate of developing sport in children and exposing them to a competitive environment.
He noted that even though the district obtained position five in the last games played in 2017, they should strive to do better this year, or at least maintain the position. He said the games did not only nurture sporting talent but also provided athletes with the opportunity to exchange cultures with those from different backgrounds both within the country and in the region.
However, he appealed to the leadership to release the chef de mission and team managers whenever they were needed for meetings so that they could be upto date with the rules and regulations of the games.
He further urged them to develop and protect sporting facilities in schools to give pupils the opportunity to exhibit their talent. "This is very important because not all children are academically gifted. Others can excel in sport and the best way is to nurture that talent at a young age," he said.
He said even though BNSC could not reach all areas due to shortage of resources, they continued to make efforts through initiatives such as Re Ba Bona Ha and the out of school programme.
He said through the out of school programme, they had in the past managed to follow youth who did not do well academically but excelled in sport.
However, he noted that more efforts could still be made for Botswana to eventually become a centre of sport excellence.
Goodhope councillor, Ogopotse Modibedi underscored the need to develop and uplift sporting facilities, especially in schools, so that more children could be motivated.
He said the current state of facilities was not appealing hence a lot of talent was going to waste.
Kabelo Lemme of Marapalalo ward called for deliberate measures and structures, which could effectively manage out of school youth who did not proceed to secondary education.
He said there was need to monitor primary school pupils who excelled in sport and follow them up as they climbed the education ladder so that the system did not lose them along the way. He noted that a lot of young people had given up on their dreams since there were no proper structures to monitor them.The civic leaders also called for the deployment of retired athletes in local schools to give children in rural areas equal opportunity to develop their talent.
That, they said, would not only empower retired athletes but also allow teachers to focus on their core mandate.