The success of Team Botswana at the recent Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast, Australia has left the whole country filled with excitement and joy.
We could be excused for this as it is the most successful international competition for the country, as Team BW grabbed five medals - three gold, silver and a bronze - thus finishing in the 16th spot from 71 participating nations.
The feeling brings back memories of when the Zebras qualified for their maiden AFCON finals in 2012, or when Nijel Amos won the country’s first Olympic medal.
The success of the team had everyone (and we mean everyone) seeking to get on board in appreciating the team’s efforts.
Companies have been pouring money in for the athletes as ‘reward’ for their excelling performances at the games.
But the question is why now?
The success of the athletes was not achieved overnight.
The road has been murky and long for instance, Isaac Makwala won his first major world title at the age of 31.
While corporate Botswana is busy handing cheques to the athletes at upmarket places, the aspiring athletes are huffing and puffing with their coaches in dusty grounds around the country trying to be the Makwalas and Montshos of tomorrow.
The parents and coaches have been left to dig into their own pockets to fund the
Lack of investment in young talents has caused some of the promising athletes a chance to make a career out of sport due to lack of resources.
Sport has proven that it has the capability of being a more sustainable source of employment as the world moves towards machine-operated jobs.
Thus sport would remain one of the few sectors that would need the human resource and manpower hence the need to invest in young talent.
Currently, almost all sport federations are battling to source out funds for the elite teams/athletes while having a fully functional development programme.
More entities from corporate world could lend a helping hand to these federations as government grants, from the Botswana National Sport Commission, have proven not to be enough to fund and sustain the two projects.
The companies should desist from chipping in only while the sun is shining, but should make hay just as well by being around and reliable while still cloudy.
“In any investment, you expect to have fun and make money.”