The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) would spend P600, 000 to set up its secretariat offices located at the national stadium.
BAA president, Thari Mooketsi said at the beginning of the year, they wrote to the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) informing them of the developments. He said the funds are needed to buy furniture and other fittings.
Mooketsi added that the amount is lower, compared to when they had rented offices elsewhere. He said they would move out of the office, once they develop their own plot.
He has been calling for the establishment of the BAA secretariat for many years. “When I was president of the BAA before my current term, I said if we want athletics to prosper, we should have a secretariat. We should be independent from the BNSC. We should have employees who run the day-to-day business of athletics,” he said. Mooketsi said relying on volunteers to do BAA work is a challenge as there is no motivation. “You cannot push volunteers to put more effort. With the secretariat in place, it means we (board) will not be coming to the office all the time,” he said.
Mooketsi said BAA committee is going to be part of the board when the secretariat, headed by a general manager, is fully fledged. He said the BNSC would remain the government’s eye in BAA affairs.
Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho hailed the new development at BAA, as the code has consistently produced better results than any other sport in Botswana. “What has also been evident over the years is that with a more robust administration structure at the BAA, we could have had even better results. Consequently, I am of the view that a secretariat at the BAA is long overdue,” he said.
Serufho said among other things, managing elite athletes is quite daunting and therefore it would be unreasonable to expect volunteers at BAA to handle that on their own.
“Because of robust administration structure, we have over the years lost many talented athletes that could otherwise have been kept in the system,” Serufho said.