Basiame Molathiwa, who lost out in his bid to become the head coach of the men’s softball Under-23 team, maintains that he was the right candidate for the job. The Botswana Softball Association (BSA) had advertised the post as the Under-23 is a newly established category.
The key requirements are that a combination of education and directly related experience may be considered. The coach should have coached a secondary school, club or national team, a minimum of 10 years of coaching experience at secondary school or club level. It is also expected the successful candidate should demonstrate success in managing talent at junior level and motivating young athletes. Molathiwa’s former assistant at Under-19, Otimile Tapiso got the nod and the successful candidates received their appointment letters this week. The other appointments were for the team manager, where Christopher Chikwakwa was the preferred candidate, and Tony Moyo was appointed the pitching coach.
Molathiwa told Mmegi Sport that there was no requirement that the coach should be a senior secondary school teacher. He said that argument cannot stand because there are some junior secondary school teachers that coach senior players but at the same time deal with children.
“I have also coached Carats and Dinare, which are elite clubs just like Tapiso. Regarding Botswana Games, I am more successful than Tapiso. I am not saying Tapiso has done anything wrong,” he said.
He added that the Games could not be used to measure success. Molathiwa said he is not reacting to losing the position that he wanted but simply to the untruths that are being peddled.
“I was a successful coach at Under-19 and in the league. Despite everything that is going on, I am ready to serve the nation. I am simply responding to what a member of the panel said about me,” Molathiwa said.
According to information reaching this publication, some in softball are unhappy with the appointment of Chikwakwa as he is not affiliated with any BSA club. He is a manager at the School of Excellence in Masunga. The matter will be pushed into the agenda of the upcoming BSA Ordinary General Meeting (OGM).
The Under-23 team will play qualifiers in South Africa. The qualifiers are for the inaugural Under-23 World Championships in Argentina next year.
Softball sport development officer, Tebogo Johannes said the panel decided not to appoint Molathiwa as head coach because he has been coaching at junior secondary school for many years. He said Molathiwa works with the Under-19 players most of the time.
“We also looked at their Botswana Games track record. Tapiso is more successful than Molathiwa. Those were the variables that we looked at. Yes, Tapiso went to Michigan as an understudy. This is a new position and we did not do him a favour,” he said.
Chikwakwa has been appointed team manager against Letsweletse Jonas.
“Jonas couldn’t do this job at Under-19. Remember this is the same person who recently resigned from the BSA executive committee indicating that he had other commitments. So are those commitments not going to disturb him now as a team manager?” he asked.
Johannes said former star player, Moyo applied for two positions; that of assistant senior men’s coach and Under-23 head coach.
“During the interview, when put at par with others, they were not at the same level. We then decided that there is something that we could tap from Moyo. That is why we created a position for him to be a specialist coach for senior men and the Under-23 team,” Johannes said.
He added they could not discard him because he failed the interview but they need him in local softball programmes.
Furthermore, Johannes defended Chikwakwa choice as team manager.
“School of Excellence is by extension an affiliate of BSA and the school has for the past 10 years won the gold and silver medals. He is also team manager for team North East for Botswana Games. He has also been the welfare manager for the COSSASA Games team,” he said.
Johannes said the panel that conducted the interviews submitted their report to the executive committee. He said it was unfortunate that one of the members leaked the report to the candidates.
“That is what caused this animosity. The report was to be adopted by the executive committee. The report was not for candidates,” he said.