Maun - — Botswana Netball Association (BONA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sports Volunteer Movement (SVM) and Botswana Primary School Sport Association (BOPSSA) to collaborate in producing well-rounded athletes in future.
BONA also intends to sign MoUs with other stakeholders such as Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA), Botswana Integrated Sport Association (BISA) and Paralympics to secure talent during exchange of schools and even after the athletes had completed school.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, BONA president, Malebo Raditladi explained that they found it important to sign MoUs with other stakeholders in an effort to track athletes when they changed schools.
She noted that they had been losing potential athletes and hoped that by signing MoUs with other stakeholders it would help to track athletes, nurture them until they became champions.
Raditladi said it was ideal to sign with BOPSSA as they were the foundation to unearth and nurture talent from the grassroots level. "We believe they are the right partner as we can achieve our dream of taking netball to greater heights through their partnership."
She noted that the association could build a child by taking advantage of the Re Ba Bona Ha programme which promotes grassroot development in sports.
The programme is a skill development initiative that seeks to introduce sport to children aged between five to 17 years throughout the country. Raditladi said their partnership would be a long term strategy as it would ensure a smooth transition of athletes from one association to another.
With regard to SVM, she said they were also the right partner as the movement's responsibility involved supporting all sports structures in the country.
She said the movement was critical as they ensured that sport development was taking place and that members ensured that programmes were running without fail.
The movement promotes participation in sports by all members of the public, she added.
BOPSSA vice president, Selebatso Keabetswe welcomed the partnership, noting that their association was the base of sport development as their core mandate was to identify talent, nurture and develop it.
He said they had been concerned about the transition of athletes and felt that their efforts were not recognised. He thanked BONA for coming on board to ensure continuity in the development of athletes.
He also noted that some things were done in an informal manner, and said he believed the signing of the agreement was ideal as it would guide them and bring positive results.
Keabetswe said it was imperative to join hands as sports associations and ensure a holistic development of children.
"I am also impressed to learn that BONA wishes to sign with other stakeholders such as BISA and BOTESSA," he said.
Acting SVM chairperson, Boshoma Mfecae also welcomed the signing of the agreement with BONA, saying it was a welcome development.
SVM supports Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to achieve objectives by fostering the spirit of volunteerism in different sporting codes.
The movement encourages individuals and communities to participate in sport and also seeks to recognise and appreciate the efforts of those involved, he added.
Mfecae assured BONA that they would do their best as per the agreement.
Acting BNSC chairperson, Martin Mokgwathi hailed the partnership, saying it was good to see the trio cooperating for the interest of the youngsters.
He said he believed that they would work as a unit to produce responsible athletes who would understand the importance of sport.
He stressed the need to invest in youngsters and hoped that their partnership would produce expected results. He also appreciated the good job by SVM, saying members were doing that for the love of sport.
Source : BOPA