The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) has come up with strict conditions for the National Sport Associations (NSA) sending teams to the AUSC Region 5 Games to be held in Lesotho in December.
The team has fewer representatives than from the last two competitions hosted in Angola and Botswana respectively, where the country had more than 200 athletes. “We are moving away from an era where regional games can just be an era or a project by themselves, to one in which regional games are but a part of a long-term project for success at an international level,” Serufho said. He said, in that way, it would not seem like they are starting from scratch every time they have to prepare for major competitions such as the Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth and African Games. “This way, every thebe that we spend in team preparations would take us further than it did in the past. We could expect results to turn for the better,” he said. Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) president, Oaitse Thipe said he was unaware of the new conditions set by the BNSC.
Thipe said after Region V Games, they are heading to Namibia for an International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in January. Africa Junior Championships would follow the tournament. He said the players are part of the revamped men's and women's teams for next year. He said the team that BTA is sending consists of young players who are under the BTA Long Term plan. The team consists of Denzel Seetso, Mark Nawa, Ekua Refilwe Youri, Chelsea Chakanyuka and Naledi Chabuya Raguin. “These players are all under 16 years and our plan is to have their international rankings improve so that they could play junior Wimbledon in the next few years. Chakanyuka and Raguin are based in France and the US, but we are planning for them to play some International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments in Pretoria later this month,” Thipe said.
Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) public relations officer, Abaleng Lesego said they had, together with the medical committee prepared the return to play guidelines, which were presented to the BNSC and had been given the green light. “We were given the go-ahead to returning to basketball. We have considered the national team to trial the return to play in order to ensure compliance and that all the policies that we have been putting in place are feasible and doable,” she said.
Lesego said they are working on getting the team into camp although there have been budget cuts. Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) vice president, George Keotsenye said they have made their submission to the BNSC. “Basically, it is explained by our Long Term Athlete Development Plan. Remember, we are one of the first NSAs to have that plan cascaded to,” he said. Keotsenye said the difficulty with them is not so much the plan, but rather the resources needed to implement the plan. “Would the federation get enough resources to implement it going forward?
The investment in sport is really at a minimum at this point in time. Corporates are not making any investments in that area. Investment is badly needed in our sport to go back to where we were in the continent,” he said.