We need continuity after Botswana Games

The Botswana Games are currently on in the City of Francistown. The Botswana Games pit youngsters from different parts of the country against each other on various sporting codes. The youngsters slug it out in 13 sporting codes. And it is bound to be an exciting do as these youngsters try to outwit and outperform each other.

This is one of those noble initiatives that we can certainly get a lot from, especially with regards identification of raw talent at an early age. This is the platform for youngsters to show what they are made off and if indeed they have the potential to be future world beaters. This is the right time for the different sport codes to identify talent and nurture it.

We always bemoan lack of development across many sporting codes and this is an opportunity for the codes to gauge the effectiveness of their programmes as well as to identify that which can be worked on and developed through the ranks.    

Development is a process and its starts with identification of potential and the putting in place of well planned, well thought out measures to help that potential evolve into a finished product in the coming years. In the past we have had these games and some of those who excelled in these games have gone through the cracks and been left to leave sport. This is our major undoing.

We will host these Games and they will be ‘successful’, but then we don’t make any follow ups and there will be no continuity to ensure that those who have potential are hand held through the different developmental stages in their codes. This happens across many junior teams and competitions, and not only with the Botswana Games. We would have a good U17 team in one sporting code and we let them through the cracks and not push them to U20, U23 and senior levels. I know there has been efforts made to ensure continuity but more can still and should be done.

We have had these Games before and I know there are some youngsters who won medals then, but have fallen by the way side. Not much has been done to keep them active in their codes. We need to have strategies in place to have a Legacy and developmental programmes after such games so that we benefit in the long term.

The participants are selected at their regions and their participation at the Botswana Games should start them off to greater heights. If we were in other countries this would be the best platform for agents and talent scouts to identify future stars and help them through the ranks until they become world beaters.

As much as the Botswana Games expose these youngsters to tough competition against their peers from other regions of the country, there is even a bigger opportunity for the country. The kids who are participating now should be the ones representing the country in international competitions in the next 5-10 years, as they would have been hand held along to that level.

In Minister Thapelo Olopeng, BNSC President Solly Reikeletseng and BNSC CEO Falcon Sedimo, we seem to have men with a vision and I’m inclined to think what I write about here has crossed their minds. I guess the time is now to do something. We don’t want a situation whereby this talent falls through the cracks and is lost to sport. We need to devise strategies as to how we keep them interested and doing sport. Once that is achieved, we are well on the right track. We need continuity after the Games.

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