Mmegi Blogs :: #Elections2014: Whatís in it for us sport lovers?
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Wednesday 21 November 2018, 15:42 pm.
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#Elections2014: Whatís in it for us sport lovers?

The 2014 Botswana General elections are upon us. In a few weeks we will be casting our votes for our preferred candidates and preferred Government. I have read some of the Party manifestos and listened in on political party debates and quite frankly not many a candidate has talked to me much as a Sports lover, withy regards the state of sport in the country and what they intend to do for sport in the country. At times I feel sport is a by-the-way-issue, while Iím personally feel that as powerful as it is; Sport should be amongst the issues that politicians use as selling point.
By Thuso Palai Mon 06 Oct 2014, 13:16 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: #Elections2014: Whatís in it for us sport lovers?








Sport is very powerful,  and attracts massive attention. Sport gets people talking and I’m very surprised that not many of the candidates, atleast those that I have heard, have really tried to cash in on that. Or like I have posited before, it is a non-issue or ranks lowly in their priorities. It’s well and good to talk about poverty eradication, social ills, job creation, health, but if one thinks about it; Sport can actually play a huge rile in addressing all these problems, or challenges as I would prefer to call them. As it is, Sport is a by the way and is not much of a selling point for many of the candidates.

Sport has the potential to be a source of employment and source of income. It has great potential to keep youth away from social ills and combat crime. Therefore it is one avenue that can be drummed up to counter some of the challenges that I always hear politicians talk about. We are a nation of talented people, all that we need is for that talent to be nurtured and moulded. As it is right now, we are on a hit or miss trail with not too much of a structure.

Our President is a keen sport lover and has done a lot to support sport in the country, and for that he deserves the greatest accolades. The fracas of the Constituency football tournaments aside, he has championed sport initiatives and has always been visible.  However I feel more needs to be done and can still be done.  With the lack of professionalism and sporadic grassroot development initiatives; Teachers are an important cog in sport development. And we all know the issue with teachers and sport in Botswana. That is one other issue that politicians should be focussing on to resolve once and for all so that atleast we continue having

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Teachers playing some kind of role in talent identification and early development.

It’s no use throwing money at the highest level, without much investment in grassroots development. For me, that is where most of the attention and money should go; DEVELOPMENT. As a country we need high profile sport academies, sport development programmes, highly trained trainers and administrators.  The Schools of Excellence based is some Secondary Schools around the country are a good initiative and great effort but more can still be done. I just wish politicians could see the great potential in sport and give it more attention. The world over, countries have and continue to open Schools of Excellence for almost all sporting codes, albeit in different sizes. I recently visited Qatar and had the opportunity pass by the World Acclaimed Aspire Academy in Doha. Qatar is a smallish country that has seen the need to have targeted sport development facilities and programmes where sport is done alongside education. The academy focuses on athlete development for various different codes, sports medicine, education and physical education dynamics for youngsters. My guess is that Qatar realised that they were not too strong in sport and needed a plan to turn things around, hence the deliberate decision for the massive sport academies. Now watch this space as Qatar will surely be a country to reckon with in sport circles in 10 or so years.  

Everything starts with political will and support and once sport has that in abundance, the sky will be the limit. In the few weeks leading up to the elections, I hope there will be some candidates who will talk to me as an avid sports lover. As much as I want to know about developments, I also need to know what these politicians have in store for sport in Botswana; Unless of course it is none of their business. 

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