The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) board this week made a decision to appoint the experienced administrator, Tuelo Serufho as an acting CEO to steer the Commission’s ship to greater heights. Serufho will be at the BNSC for not more than six months, but will have to do some spring cleaning if he is to win the hearts of an expectant sports fraternity, argues Mmegi Sport Staff Writer, CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Serufho’s appointment comes at a difficult period for sport, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The 45-year-old is expected to be at the BNSC for a period not exceeding six months, but could certainly be in for the long haul, as he is seen as departing Falcon Sedimo’s natural replacement.
Serufho is expected to make early in-roads in a bid to leave an indelible mark, and endear himself to the sports fraternity.
He has already done some sterling work at the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) where he is the chief executive officer. His being at the BNOC for a decade is evidence enough of the trust bestowed on his leadership.
Serufho has to reinvigorate weary souls, where athletes feel more should be done for them.
There would be little time for the welcome handshakes and pleasantries, as the effervescent administrator hits the ground running. Some might view him as exactly what the doctor ordered but there would always be sceptics.
He easily gets agitated when things do not go his way, and his temper would undergo a thorough examination, in an environment where political bickering is the order of the day.
Serufho is taking over when staff morale at the secretariat is rock bottom due to a drawn-out restructuring exercise, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
There has been a sharp decline in government funding, which has seen sport codes receive less.
Last year, the then minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama agreed to a new funding model, the tier system, which would see excelling codes getting more funds. It is one of the proposals that Serufho is expected to push.
From time immemorial, the country has been depending on volunteer coaches who are only appointed when preparing for games.
Local athletes are growing to a level where they need full-time professionals such as coaches, dieticians and physicians amongst others.
The acting CEO would win admirers if he convinces the government to set up a National High Performance Centre in Botswana, instead of sending athletes to other countries.
A home-based centre would mean more athletes benefit. The other matter, which should be on Serufho’s agenda are centres for sport excellence, which he should make functional. The BNSC facilities are dilapidated and need a face-lift as soon as possible. The sport body has to come up with ways to generate income instead of depending on the government.
Serufho has been in the BNSC board and he is aware of the challenges that sport faces. He now faces one of his most testing periods of his long career as an administrator.