Thursday, March 4, 2021

Bantsi’s executive has its work cut out for it in cleaning up BAA

Immediately after ascending the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) hot seat, Moses Bantsi’s first stop was the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) National Championships.

This was his first port of call; to one of the four associate sports associations he felt BAA should get even closer to, namely BISA, Botswana Primary Schools Sports Associations (BOPSSA), Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA) and the Botswana Brigades Sports Association (BOBSA).
As he and his newly appointed committee watched from the stands, they must have got a dose of reality as to the magnitude of the work awaiting them as they seek to resuscitate the fortunes of the association.

With the country’s young athletes struggling with technical track and field events, mainly due to lack of adequate qualified coaches for the technical events, Bantsi and his committee would have known they have their work cut out for them.

As the news of his election back into the committee filtered through on the background of this disjointed performance in the technical track and field events, there was a sigh of relief tinged with happiness and expectation.

As one of BISA’s former committee members put it, “athletics is now back.”

It was a sign of the big expectations from the associate associations. As they put it, they had been feeling left out by the BAA and they were hopeful things would work out this time around.

For Bantsi, this is just part of the things the association has to set right before their short term in office ends and they have to hit the ground running.

According to Bantsi, to achieve all before them, the BAA Executive Committee, which held its first meeting this past Thursday has already set about in motion plans to make things right.

Speaking in an interview, the BAA president said the association is aware of the problems of local athletics when it comes to technical track and field events.

While there is no problem with the customary track events, Bantsi said the problem with technical events goes beyond just the junior athletes.

“If you look at the issue of technical events, be it field or track, you will realize that both our athletes at junior and senior level still have problems. The reason is we do not have adequate coaches specializing in this area. It is an issue we have to look at,” the BAA President said.

To achieve this, he says he and his committee are very keen to revive the structures and to check on the ones that still exist to ensure they are functional. “This is the only way we can address these issues. I have a great belief that for us to achieve anything tangible, we have to have all our structures functional and doing their job without interference from the executive committee,” he explained. As such, he said the number one priority for his newly elected executive committee is to develop a strategic plan, a road map that will guide all the BAA activities.
“Our main aim is that when we get out of this office at the end of our reign, whoever takes over will inherit a fully functional association and will not struggle,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bantsi said the executive has set up an ad-hoc committee to look at the long standing issue of the development of land given to the BAA by the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC).
The development of the land, which the BAA has earmarked to build a high performance centre in, has been on hold for a while now and the BAA executive is keen to see it progress.

“This issue has been ongoing for a while now. Plans have been made and negotiations with potential investors had also taken place but the project has somehow been put on hold. Our intention is that when our term in office ends, there will also be tangible progress in this front as well,” he explained.

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