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Sport codes call for BNSC awards changes

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Re-jig: Association want changes to the BNSC awards PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
National Sport Associations (NSAs) want to see changes to the system used to select nominees for the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) sport awards.

The associations’ wish is to see team and individual awards to be separated, as they argue, the current set-up favours individual team sport.

Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) vice president, George Keotsene said the system needs to be revised. He recalls that in the past there was an assessment committee, which oversaw the process.

“The committee assessed different NSAs with submissions also being done. The challenge is that members of that committee never attended games to get first hand information,” Keotsene said. 

He added as a team sport they drag their feet to take part in awards, which they believe are biased towards individual codes.

“We have made this proposal for changes to be made with no luck. We have now given up and we are not even submitting names for consideration. The last time the senior national women’s team won, it had been nominated by the BNSC,” Keotsene said.

He further said at one point even teams managed to get awards, and after that, it was decided that only national sides were eligible.

“BNSC needs to expand categories.

Professional athletes (individual/team), amateur (individual/team), ball sports, board games so forth. How do you compare a runner versus a footballer versus a chess player?” Keotsene argued.

For her part, Botswana Softball Association  (BSA) secretary general, Tsuna Makwa said the system was not fair.

“In a team, you need each other for you to excel or get a medal but as an individual, you actually drive yourself for that medal,” she said.

On the other side, Botswana Karate Association  (BOKA) president, Tshepho Bathai said karate is fortunate because it competes in both categories.

“Karate has team and individual events.  BOKA team

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Kumite would compete with Zebras. I am not aware on any other system. But it is difficult to give awards to team sports, especially if they are not winning,” he said.

Bathai, however, agreed with the proposal to expand categories. Botswana Table Tennis Association  (BTTA) president, Kudzanani Motswagole said with funds permitting, categories should be separated.

“Indeed it would be a welcome development because they would promote equal opportunities for sport women and men of this nation to compete in a level platform. What I see as a challenge is the resources to finance such but if the financial aspect can be dealt with surely that is one of the moves which will bring excitement and belonging in sport,” Motswagole said.

For her part, Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson, Kutlwano Tatolo shared the same sentiments.

“Yes, I agree with that thinking. It’s always fair to compare like with like,” she said.

But BNSC Awards Adjudication Panel chairperson, Charmaine Khupe expressed his concern over the way the associations were raising their issues. “I do not  know why they would be raising it in that manner. Who are they expecting to act on their feelings?”

Regarding the 2020 awards, Khupe said they were still looking into options on how the awards ceremony would be held.

However, Mmegi Sport is reliably informed that the awards would be virtual and they are set for October with an exact date to be announced.

“I cannot confirm that. I do know that options are being looked into to see how to have the awards ceremony. As to what the actual approach is, I still don’t know,” Khupe said.



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