Maun — A Maun youth, Ruri Ramokolodi plans to open an athletics academy to offer a safe and fun athletics training centre for Ngamiland sports men and women.
The academy, to be named Delta Athletics Academy, is a fitting tribute to Ngamiland District, as it has produced most of the country's notable athletes.
In an interview, Ramokolodi revealed that plans were at an advanced stage, adding that he has already registered the academy and was finalising issues of accreditation and acquiring a licence.
He said the academy would offer fun and competitive sessions comprising of a variety of disciplines.
He added that the training sessions would be designed to improve athletes basic knowledge so that they could excel at any track and field competition in the future.
The initiative, he said, also aimed to promote sports tourism in the Ngamiland District.
While sports tourism is not popular in the country, Ramokolodi was confident that his idea would work considering the fact that many athletes were from the region.
He noted that Ngamiland had a wealth of talent in sports and that through the academy, they would be able to unearth, nurture and develop it.
The vibrant and energetic young man has been in the sport fraternity for more than 15 years and has represented the country in several major competitions specialising in high jump.
He explained that the academy would augment existing sport programmes such as Re ba bona Ha, Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) competitions and Botswana Games among others.
"We will not be competing with other programmes and we will work alongside them as our aim is to help maximise the potential of each athlete," he added.
The academy, he said, would also act as an information centre and that profiles of athletes and any information related to sports would be easily accessed at the academy.
Furthermore, Ramokolodi said the academy would assist in events management and marketing, noting that some athletes had failed to pursue their dreams because of lack of support and sponsorship.
He added that through the academy, he wanted to bridge the gap between government and the private sector. He noted that government had made efforts towards the development of sport, but said the private sector was not doing enough.
He stressed the need to make the private sector understand what they could benefit from sports, and to share with them platforms they could use to advertise their services and products using athletes.
Ramokolodi said the private sector should invest in sports to help government fight unemployment amongst young people, adding that it would motivate young people to take sports seriously and reap the benefits of their performance.
He said currently athletes were selected to take part in the national squad, but after competitions they were left to their own devices, adding that it was where the academy would come in to keep them busy.
He pointed out that sport was not just about recreational, but was a source of income for many. He is optimistic that his efforts would attract sponsors, supporters and patrons.
Source : BOPA