PALAPYE: In a bid to improve sports activities in schools, Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) has stepped up to the plate to sponsor BISA awards. This was done during the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) annual meeting held at Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) recently.
During the meeting, BISA North-Central regional organiser Ontuetse Otukile said they had to squeeze the awarding ceremony in the agenda since some of the awards were pending from the initial ceremony, which was held earlier this year.
“During the ceremony held earlier this year as BISA we did not award other awards hence we squeezed this day which is supposed to be our annual meeting in order to allow BOPEU to donate the awards that were pending,” said Otukile.
He added that prior to the partnership with BOPEU, BISA North-Central zone experienced some problems with sponsorship, which hindered the association to meet its goals.
BISA then approached BOPEU to help with sponsorship of logistics such as water, energy drinks, and others to be used during the games, which they willingly helped with.
Moreover they extended their sponsorship by sponsoring the awards in the form of trophies and medals for the schools that got positions one, two and three (gold, silver & bronze) progressing to the national finals.
He said the school that got position one was Phikwe-Bobirwa region which was awarded a trophy including 146 medals, followed by Serowe-Palapye region with 132 medals and Tswapong getting position three with 50 medals.
Otukile said not only were the awards an achievement for BISA but they were also a motivating exercise for students who will in future excel more in sports as well as an encouragement to those left behind.
On their part BOPEU central regional secretary, CDE Kebonang Babedi said BISA athletics has opened their eyes as BOPEU as they witnessed the passion the students had towards their sports. “What we witnessed at the stadium during the BISA sports games one could see that these kids are doing what they love hence it will loss not to nature such a talent,” she said.
She stated that being a student is not quite a smooth sail as they are facing various challenges such as the background they come from, social ills that have plagued the country like drug abuse, alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy amongst others.
“Some come from less privileged families however, they still manage to excel in their both academics and in sports. These are the children that need not only to be celebrated but to be supported in every way possible to nature their talents so that they are able to sustain it,” she added. “Contrary to this, the children that do not engage in sports activities mostly idle and have ample time on their hands to engage on reckless behaviour. Therefore, this should be a reason enough for us to support our kids in whatever talent they have be it sports or music so as to try and keep them away from things that destroys their future”.
She said BOPEU hoped to have a continual relationship with BISA and hope to grow together for the betterment of the association.