Botswana Deaf Sport Federation (BDSF) has come out guns blazing after being excluded from the inaugural national disability Sports Pitso held at Ave Maria yesterday.
BDSF president, Shirley Keoagile wrote a strong worded letter to the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) board complaining about being sidelined.
“I have been sidelined from the Pitso, therefore I would not attend until you correct this. I was not briefed about the event as a representative of disability sport in the board,” she said in the letter. Keoagile said she was disappointed and she knew that if it were other National Sport Associations (NSA), they would be getting better treatment from BNSC.
“You must lead sport without discrimination and confusion. I wonder why I am part of the board,” she lashed out. She said deaf sport was not even included in the programme.
Keoagile said the deaf people must be allowed to be their own representatives. Meanwhile, Paralympic Association of Botswana (PASSOBO) president, David Moatshe said there is neglect of people with disabilities across, not only in sport.
“Everything is done according to the legislature. The reason why we participate in sport and recreation is because of that. The Sport Act is the one that allows every individual to participate in sport,” he said.
Moatshe said the Act only recognises Paralympics, which is something that should be rectified during the Pitso. He said the Act should be inclusive.
However, Moatshe said there were divisions amongst sport with disabilities leaders. He said they have to assist each other to pull in one direction.
BNSC chief executive officer, Falcon Sedimo said there were some people who are alleging that they were not involved in the Pitso. Sedimo added that he was certain the organisers did not leave them out deliberately.
“Maybe you invited them and they decided not to come. We are fully aware that there are some people who do not want to recognise Special Olympics and PASSOBO, but they are living with disabilities. They want to come directly to the Sport Commission and want us to help them,” Sedimo said.
He said even those who are not directly affiliated to BNSC, want to deal directly with the mother body. He said they do not want to be compromised by dealing with people who are not members.