Gaborone — Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) has announced Sprint Couriers as sponsor of a special award to the tune of P10 000.
The award, which would form part of Botswana National Sports Commission awards scheduled for next month, recognises an individual or group making a significant contribution women sport growth.
During a media engagement and award sponsor reveal, WASBO founding member and former Dinaletsana head coach, Setshedi Botlhole-Mmopi, emphasised the need to encourage women to step forward and assume a role that could add value in sports.
She said more often, women tended not to show interest in sport thereby leaving sports codes with a limited pool to choose from.
She applauded WASBO for engaging the media, noting that the media occupied an important space in society and helped to nurture and build many disadvantaged sections of the society.
She said the media had the potential to partner with WASBO in promoting the role of women in sports at all levels such as in leadership, technical positions, grass roots sports and many other different areas. Mmopi said while the society does not understand the potential role of women in sports, through education and creating awareness the situation could positively change.
"In as much as we need leadership and political commitment to grow sports, a lot could be done by communities. Batswana used to be self-reliant, building and maintaining facilities that promoted communities in different ways, we need to bring back that culture of community building and reduce dependence on government," she added.
She highlighted that the spirit of volunteerism needed to be reignited, noting that this would have the added benefit of growing sports at grass root level where the talent was best identified.
She urged WASBO to focus on strengthening relationships with national sports associations, indicating that it was not possible to effectively work alone and also advised them to reach out to people with a passion to assist.
WASBO chairperson, Matlho Kgosi, indicated that women were born with qualities to lead and develop the nation.
She said when women are not included in different sectors, it was the same as denying the society the most important elements that only women could bring.
"That is denying the nation the wisdom that women could bring to the table," she added.
She said more capable women were needed who could positively contribute to sports, hence the need to encourage them to take part in sport and eventually get into leadership positions.
Kgosi pointed out that more women should be encouraged to have confidence in themselves to show interest in leadership positions, adding that men sometimes who were of lesser quality end up in leadership positions because of few numbers of women standing for positions.
For her part, the co-founder and director of Sprint Couriers, Michelle Gabriel congratulated WASBO for introducing the award that rewards excellence and motivates female athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.
She indicated that her company was woman-founded and led and it was naturally keen on supporting other women to get ahead.
Gabriel said it was important to ensure that athletes continued to excel and that when they do, should be rewarded.
She noted that athletes in countries that Botswana competed against were continually motivated by their nations.
"When we want our athletes to perform superbly at an international level, we should keep motivating them," she added.
Source : BOPA