The minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has called on regional sports leaders to make the sporting environment favourable for the athletes.
Khama was speaking at the official opening of the AUSC Region V Regional Confederations Forum in Gaborone on Wednesday.
He said such gatherings should provide solutions, particularly for the development of sports from grassroots and the athletes’ welfare.
“I am sometimes a bit optimistic of what we are trying to do, but sometimes I am concerned. My question is, are we having these meetings to come and try to solve issues surrounding sports or are we just here to look for a follow up to be held in another country? We should be committed and we should not be in contradiction of what we are trying to achieve.”
“The largest section of the population is our youth, they are the future of our respective countries. But are we giving the necessary resources to the youth so they would be able to compete in the world stage? In some countries there are incentives and packages for retired athletes. This could entice people to get into sports as they would know that there is still benefits once they retire as we are all aware that sports careers are short,” he said.
Khama, who arrived at the gathering an hour late due to commitments elsewhere, criticised the politicisation of sports saying it hinders its development in the region.
“I believe we should be addressing corruption in sports administration and the politics in the industry. Sometimes I think that there is more politics in sports than it is in the Parliament. These are the issues we should address and gatherings like this should come up with solutions,” he said.
The three-day forum started on Wednesday and ends today. It has representatives from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and eSwatini. Delegates will present on issues amongst them youth development in sports, funding and anti-doping.