Itís that time of the year when many make New Yearís plans; some call them New Yearís resolutions. Whatever one calls them, many plan for the year ahead, setting goals and targets for themselves. The intention is to come as close as possible to achieving those set targets.
Sport is a result oriented business, and we should as a Nation treat is as such, especially at international level. We cannot forever participate in international competitions, but we should compete. I have since realised that we only compete in a few codes while in most other codes we just participate. That can only happen if we up our standards here at home. Over the years, we have seen that we can indeed compete with the best from other countries as we have talent in abundance. Our major undoing has been lack of proper management of that talent. If we are to make a mark in the international sport arena, we have to start by upping our standards here at home, and ensure prudent management of the talent and resources we have. The likes of Khaya Groth, Alister Walker, Amantle Montsho, Nijel Amos and Isaac Makwala amongst others, have shown that it is possible, if only we maximised on what we have. As an emerging, aspirant sporting giant, we also need to host more international competitions. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the big name, mainstream sporting codes. If we do get a chance to host international competitions in Chess, Darts, dance sport and other not so popular sports, then we should go ahead and grab the chance. That will give us exposure and capacitate us to host even bigger events in the future.
As the year begins, we cannot ignore the somewhat shoddy management that has dominated the headlines within some sporting codes. Undesirable as it is, it has persisted over the years. We cannot forever hope that it will disappear without much being done. The Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) needs to play a more active role and reign in some of its affiliates. There are some troublesome affiliates that have always been in the news for all the wrong reasons and to some extent bringing sport as a whole into disrepute. These affiliates, more especially the ‘troublesome’ administrators, need to be brought to book. We cannot continue to have Sport being dragged in the mud unnecessarily. I've heard
Towards the end of the year, a new Minister overlooking the Sport portfolio was installed. I don’t know much about the gentleman and his passion for sport but one thing i know is that he has to hit the ground running. I bet he already has an idea of the huge task that lies ahead. Sporting codes always bemoan lack of facilities, and that is where the Minister is crucial. It is disappointing that some stadiums have taken close on eight years now to build, and the new Minister has to ensure that they are in usable condition as soon as is possible. Some codes have absolutely nothing and have to rely on private institutions for facilities. This is very undesirable.
On the whole, we need a drastic improvement in our fortunes this year. We cannot forever be praising mediocrity and we need to make tough decisions. We need to be in a situation where if someone doesn’t perform they are shown the door. In most cases, sport administrators volunteer and when they are caught off they are always quick to use the ‘I’m a volunteer’ line. Well many other people can volunteer and no one forces anyone to volunteers, we cannot go on having ‘volunteers’ caught off and we just let them be because they are ‘volunteers’.
Tough decisions have to be made. We need to start competing and not participating. We need to up our game, at all levels. And usually this involves making tough decisions. If we are to advance, these tough decisions have to be made.