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Top cop out to arrest softball ‘slide’

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Taking charge: Mosimanegape (centre) will become the new softball president
Katlholo Mosimanegape is a worried man as he prepares to ascend softball’s top post at tomorrow’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Mosimanagape, who is the Botswana Police Service director of traffic, is unopposed for the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) presidency. 

Softball holds a meeting at a time when some members feel the sport’s fortunes are on the wane. The Thabo Thamane-led committee will not seek re-election.  Mosimanegape told Mmegi Sport that the factions that exist within softball are worrisome. He said the factions are so serious that there is no cooperation. He said at this point softball needs a unifying leader. 

“If the outgoing committee has people who have an interest in serving again, I do not have a problem working with them. I am willing to work with anybody with softball at heart. Let us forgive each other for the sake of progress. Hatred is just too much in softball,” he said.  Mosimanegape has served as vice president for two consecutive terms, between 2012 and 2018.

He then contested to become president only to lose to Thamane. He said he was motivated to step up and lead because of his passion for the sport from humble beginnings. He said he has achieved his desire as Police IX manager, turning it into a powerhouse in the softball league. He said with that in the bag, it is time for him to climb the ladder.

“It does not make sense for us as club managers to build robust clubs while the association is not robust in terms of the way it executes its programmes or makes a conducive environment for our clubs.

For me, what comes first should be the association and then clubs. We should use the same energy that we build clubs, to build the association so that it becomes viable, a brand and sport of choice after football,” he said.

Mosimanegape said he has been in management before although they did not achieve much, he has realised that things they wished for have not been done up to now. He said now it is time to go back and finish what he started.

He said softball has a large following and the fans should be brought on board. He, however, noted the sport had lost credible people because leadership never reaches out to the clientele it has, some being coaches, leaders, players and supporters.  He said if nobody raises their hand and steps forward the sport would die.

“With all the effort that I have spent at Police IX, then I decide to give up now, I would not have peace. With the current state of affairs within softball, one would have expected many people to have had interest in contesting for elections.

It is also an indication that we are

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not reaching too many people or maybe people have lost interest in softball.

The other challenge is that when people are in the executive, rather than to support them, we castigate them to a point that even before they commit offences we have already judged them,” Mosimanegape said.  He said operating in that setup, it’s better to avoid confrontations but work hard so that the work speaks for itself. He noted that he could not just jump into office for power because being a leader comes at a cost as volunteerism is expensive.  He said he plans to assemble past leaders, coaches and players so that they could guide the executive and improve the sport.

“Softballers should not lose hope, our sport would be back to normal. We are going into the Annual General Meeting (AGM) after losing one and a half years to COVID-19. When you want to make a difference as a leader, you do not focus on the mistakes of other people.

I would like to encourage softballers not to be judgemental of the outgoing leadership. This is the time to unite and piece together pieces of softball.

The situation is like this because of us, not the leadership. You do not have to be in a committee for you to contribute,” he said.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that there was late submission for the position of vice president with Badika Mosweu from Rebels Softball Club entering the fray. It is a women’s affair for the secretary-general position as Same Molete takes on Dr Nozie Payet. Molete told Mmegi Sport that having served softball for more than 26 years, she felt it is time to serve at the national level since she has experience from club to zonal levels.

“Nothing makes me happy to see women standing for positions and I believe in women empowerment, whether I lose or win, there would be a woman in the committee.

Some of the changes that I wish to bring include constitution overhaul, the establishment of a women’s commission, computerised players registration amongst others,” Molete said.

For her part, Payet said her target areas are stakeholder engagement and involvement, administration, team managers’ empowerment, women’s commission, safe sport and gender mainstreaming and constitution review. 

“Meaningful partnerships are very important to any association. For BSA to create partnerships, it has to have a clearly defined mandate, it needs to have a clearly defined stakeholder engagement strategy.

Partnerships should be meaningful in that they have to be lasting, they have to be mutually beneficial to those involved and for softball. The benefits and opportunities should also be felt by the ordinary player,” Payet said.



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