The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) says it is pleased with the progress made by the two Cuban experts in the country.
The duo, Victor Lucas and Alberto Sanchez, has been in the country for more than two years now.
Speaking at the backdrop of the recent local athletics meets that saw the country’s youngsters showing growth and development on the track and field, BAA Public Relations Officer, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba, said ever since the Cubans arrived, there has been a marked improvement in athletes’ development.
Of the two Cuban experts, Lucas is based in Maun and is responsible for the North West region, Kgalagadi, as well as Ghanzi while Sanchez is based in Gaborone.
The deployment of Lucas to the North West region in particular seems to be a masterstroke as the region now looks on course to becoming the country’s hub of athletics. Of late, athletes from the region have been showing tremendous progress and the BAA believes it is only a matter of time before other regions like Ghanzi and Kgalagadi come to the party. During BAA’s recent meets, Maun brought to the fore sprinters in the likes of Loago Kelediyakgotla, Yatea Kampepera and a host of others who look set to dominate the local athletics scene.
Commenting on the decision to send an expert to the North West region, Ramatshaba said the BAA decided to send Lucas to the region after realising that there was a lot of untapped potential talent in the region. “We decided that he should be based in Maun as they already have facilities (Maun Sports Complex) and also as the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) has offices there.
This decision has proved to be spot on as he (Lucas) seems to like the place,” Ramatshaba said. “Should he (Lucas) be given some more time, we believe that there will be a lot of talent coming from that region,” the BAA PRO said.
Commenting on Gaborone-based Sanchez, the BAA PRO lavished praise on the Cuban, saying his tremendous work ethic has benefited the country a lot.
Sanchez, who is credited with discovering the likes of junior high jumper Gobe Takobana, also works with the national team.
“He (Sanchez) is always at the stadium everyday and is very keen to work with whichever athlete goes there during the day,” Ramatshaba said.
Meanwhile, the BAA PRO says the association will be doing everything it can to ensure that the presence and knowledge of the Cuban experts is tapped before they leave the country. He says part of the plan is for the two Cuban experts to impart some of the knowledge they have to local coaches.
“They are working with coaches at their regions and we believe this will be good for them. We are also looking at them (Cubans) holding training workshops for local coaches so that they can share with them essential knowledge on athlete development and management,” the BAA PRO said.