Mmegi Online :: Father cuts short athlete’s promising career
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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Father cuts short athlete’s promising career

She competed against renowned athletes such as Leungo Matlhaku, Christine Botlogetswe and former world champion, Amantle Montsho.
By Calistus Kolantsho Fri 11 May 2018, 14:13 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Father cuts short athlete’s promising career








Hopes were high that she would reach the heights scaled by her compatriots, but at 23, Gofaone Ditsheko’s dream of becoming a professional athlete is fizzling.

The Maun-based Ditsheko, who specialised in the sprints - 100m, 200m and 400m - has not been on the track since the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) National Championships in 2016. She clocked 13.03 in the 100m, in what was her last competitive race.

Since then, her father has discouraged her from pursuing athletics.  Abednico Ditsheko told Mmegi Sport yesterday that the challenge is that relevant authorities only take care of athletes when they are still under Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA).

“When athletes graduate from the BISA structure, there is nobody who wants to take responsibility. I could not allow my child to go through that heartbreak,” he said.

Ditsheko said it was going to be difficult for her daughter, and age is no longer on her side. He said it was going to be better if there was a system in place to assist Gofaone.

“I want a system whereby I can direct questions to, whenever necessary,” he added.

Gofaone said her father wants her to find a job. She said, as a member of Maun Athletics Club between 2009 and 2013 they faced challenges as the club failed to take care of its athletes. She said they had to fend for themselves whenever they had to attend competitions.

“I ended up leaving the club and tried my luck at BDF Club and that did not

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work. I then decided to train on my own. It is a tough situation for me to train alone and it is expensive for my already depleted pockets,” she said. Gofaone is still interested in returning to the track, and that her father would understand that she wants to be a professional athlete. Meleko Ndolo, a coach who used to work with Gofaone said she was a promising athlete. He said her family interfered and she skipped training.

“She does not have any support from the family (regarding athletics). They want her to find a job,” he said.

Ndolo said he has asked Gofaone to register for constituency competitions. Meanwhile, Gable Garenamotse who was working as a sport development officer in Maun, said he volunteered to be a coach.

“The club had a future and had some athletes such as Gofaone, but unfortunately it crumbled when I left in 2011,” he said.

Garenamotse said the challenge was that when he relocated to BAA offices, he now had to focus on all the 20 affiliates. He said at BAA, he can make recommendations but that does not mean they are always considered. He said at national level, they focus mainly on athletes who stand a chance of making it into the national team.

“It is unfortunate that most athletes feel that they can fit into the national team. Gofaone should consider joining constituency competitions, and the same applies to athletes who are in places without athletics clubs,” Garenamotse said.

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