Mmegi Online :: Paradigm shift needed to drive rugby forward
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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 February 2018, 17:14 pm.
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Paradigm shift needed to drive rugby forward

Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) should take stock of its own ranks before it takes the big step of appointing a national team coach. Staff Writer, CALISTUS KOLANTSHO argues there is need for wholesome changes in the BRU approach in order to elevate the sport to the next level
By Calistus Kolantsho Fri 26 Jan 2018, 17:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Paradigm shift needed to drive rugby forward








If the Botswana Rugby Union wants to move at a new, quicker speed, it has to re-arrange its furniture.

The issue of appointing coaches, should come after the BRU gets in a fulltime general manager or chief executive officer (CEO) to head the secretariat.

The current status quo is not sustainable in the management of the modern game. The executive, which has full time commitments elsewhere, is still responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Union. 

This effectively relegates rugby to the second rate pile.  If a CEO is appointed, the person would be able to develop a strategy, or prioritise the existing ones, and form synergies with clubs and other stakeholders.It is then that the BRU can consider hiring a coach, in line with its strategies.

The appointed coach would have to work within the set parameters, in consultation with the clubs. All this would improve governance and transparency, which are some of the shortcomings of the current BRU structure. The challenge is that while the coaches are qualified and dedicated to the growth of rugby, there will always be spanners in the works.

The biggest excuse that always emanates from BRU executive is lack of funds yet there are no working initiatives in place to turn the financial situation around. Income generating projects and partnerships need to be vigorously pursued.

The handling of BRU like a family business or personal project should be discouraged and new ideas embraced.  

The current coach, Ivor Greeves has been there, as assistant coach before he was elevated to head coach

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in 2008.

Not to take anything from him, he is a good motivator, and has brought dynamic coaching tactics, which resulted in the early success, which saw Botswana being promoted to Division 1B. But fresh minds are now needed, and the BRU should appoint a coach who has the ability to know players and coaches intimately.

The individual should be able to attend many 15s, 10s and 7s games. The coach must sell his vision to club coaches and players and have their buy in. He should have clear short and long term development plans not only for the  senior men’s team but other junior structures to feed the senior side.

The domestic league and coaches have not bought in or in most cases, are unaware of the BRU strategies. That means there is disconnect between the national team coach and club coaches. Which is why you find players being poorly managed and played out of position both at national and club levels.

The strength and conditioning programme for national teams is non-existent. The women are a shining example as they have been dedicated to their gym and fitness programmes, even with less games and scheduled fixtures.

“An example that comes to mind is that, in 1B the team Botswana faces,  has dedicated technical departments working on the national teams and players are contracted with clear development strategies. Teams such as Zimbabwe and Uganda are now out of our reach due to these developments for both men and women,” a BRU critic argues.

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