Treat athletics like the goose that lays the golden egg

Two decades ago, Botswana was celebrating its first athlete, Glody Dube, reaching the finals of an Olympic Games race. That narrative has changed tremendously in the last decade with Botswana moving from celebrating reaching a final, to winning medals at the highest level.

At the turn of the millennium, it was only a dream to see Botswana’s flag flying side-by-side with that of global super power, the United States of America at a sport event. But that has become a refreshing regularity as the Botswana conveyor belt continues to churn talent from the top drawer. Amantle Montsho was a world champion in 2011, Nijel Amos followed it up with the country’s first ever Olympic medal a year later. Isaac Makwala became a Commonwealth Games champion as the floodgates of success swung wide open. The nation is now guaranteed moments of pleasure each time athletes fly out for an international assignment. Now reaching the final alone is regarded as a below par performance, representing the high bar that has been set. It is no longer business as usual as Botswana’s athletes take their place at the top table.

Despite a small population, the country is now regarded among leading athletics nations on the continent, alongside the likes of Kenya and Ethiopia. In the sprints, it will not be far-fetched to say Botswana is the country of the moment. The arrival of Letsile Tebogo on the scene has been a game changer. It’s an entry that has had a positive disruptive effect, as he has gate crushed a party that has traditionally been dominated by athletes from the Caribbean and North America. Tebogo, a boy from Kanye, now unapologetically and deservedly sits at the top in the company of some fine athletics talent. Tebogo and other pathfinders’ impressive showing should nudge the authorities to treat athletics better. The sport has emerged as the country’s goose that lays the golden egg. But it appears it’s still laisser-faire attitude from the authorities.

Editor's Comment
Respect public institutions Mr Pres

Leaders must uphold the rule of law and ensure justice, but Masisi’s remarks raise serious concerns on the separation of powers and the independence of the justice system.Masisi’s claim that he personally instructed authorities not to handcuff Khama, regardless of the legal circumstances, undermines the principles of justice and equality before the law.As Head of State, Masisi should respect the judicial process and avoid interfering in...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up