The inclusion of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Thari Mooketsi's wife in the provisional list of travelling officials to the 2018 Africa Youth Games in Algeria caused a stir recently.
However, Mooketsi has defended the choice, which is still subject to vetting, and said his wife is more qualified “than those who are complaining.”
The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) will choose between Mooketsi’s wife, Elizabeth and Thabo Giddie for the athletics manager’s role.
“My committee has explained that I did not have a say in the appointment of my wife. She was appointed by the committee and that I was against the appointment,” he said.
Mooketsi said the role of the committee is to take care of athletics and they appointed Elizabeth because of her capability. He said they took into consideration that she has been running Lefika club. He said Elizabeth is qualified more than people who have been complaining. He added that she has a qualification in sports administration.
The team to travel to Algeria, has in the meantime, not been finalised as the BNOC awaits quota allocation from the organisers. BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said the team could only be announced after they know the slots Botswana has been allocated.
“At the moment we have only appointed Wedu Motswetla as Chef de Mission. The rest of the team would follow. The deadline was supposed to have been last week,” he said. Serufho said some athletes qualify through rankings and some through
He said the number of athletes would also determine the number of managers.
Meanwhile, the BAA will host the last track and field event of the year tomorrow at the UB Stadium. The event is a qualifier for some major events such as the 2018 African Championships in Asaba, Delta State in August. “Tomorrow we are selecting teams for Asaba, AYG, Youth Olympics and Commonwealth half marathon,” Mooketsi said.
He said the registration list for the track and field event was closed yesterday (Thursday) and those who failed to register are not going to compete.
“We are introducing bye-laws and regulations for our competitions. We have also come up with a code of conduct for national teams during camps and it also apply during competitions. We do not want people to be surprised when we stamp our authority. Those items are in the new BAA constitution,” he said.
Mooketsi said they want a large number of athletes to qualify for the upcoming competitions. He said athletes have been clocking Personal Bests in the past competitions. He said there is a stiff fight between juniors and seniors. “Seven boys have already qualified for the World Junior Championship. It is unfortunate that girls have not yet qualified but we hope by they do soon,” Mooketsi said.