Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Bayendi parts ways with BNOC for greener pastures

Botswana National Olympic Committee chief executive officer (BNOC CEO), Botho Bayendi is parting ways with her employer for greener pastures at the end of this month.

She resigns from her post after serving the local sport governing body for a year. “I got a moment of growth. I have been offered a job at African Union Commission,” the outgoing BNOC CEO explains.

Bayendi says she departs with fond memories of the BNOC and will not be lost to sport. She further adds that she will be open ‘to serve and volunteer sport in other capacities.’ 

The outgoing CEO says her  stint with BNOC was hectic and fruitful to her as she experienced growth.  “When I joined the organization, I had underestimated it as a small organization. I have since found BNOC to be a powerhouse of international level. Its operations are demanding as they have to meet international standards set by International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Commonwealth games,” she observes.

She says BNOC is a huge institution that should have a major role in national discourse. “Sport is a sector that needs to seriously position itself to have impactful meaning in the economy and uplift lives,” Bayendi says.

With this in mind, she opines that sport needs a revamp to optimize benefits and contribute significantly to the economy. “Sport is cocooned and its high time they move it from hiding to gain its rightful position in the economy. We are strategically positioned to participate in any opportunities that can grow the economy.”

She is of the view that sport is a platform to create young millionaires, something President Mokgweetsi Masisi wants to achieve during his tenure in office. “Sport can be used to create young millionaires. Tebogo Letsile is one example that can be used to achieve the desired results of creating young millionaires.” 

In her short stint at the BNOC, she has realised that ‘sport can be used in all sectors.’ She says sport can be used ‘to fight social ills, mould the youth to become responsible, attain social stability and aggressively fight non communicable disease,’ things which are of great concern to the government.

She however laments that ‘politics and infightings hinder the opportunities sport should accomplish,’ adding that ‘there is a need to rethink and focus on the achieving our roles.’

On issues of sport administration, Bayendi says that sport administrators are not dismal as people think. “They are relatively at par with administrators in other sectors. All they need is little improvement,” she observes.

Bayendi yearns for sport sustainability where it will be financially sustainable to run its operations and aggressive in its activities. She says local sport has challenges with funding.

The outgoing BNOC CEO’s last assignment is FNBB Botswana Golden Grand Prix billed for the 29th April at the National Stadium. She says she leaves with heartfelt gratitude for the opportunities sport gave her. “I am indebted to sport I will serve sport as a volunteer and share my experience,” she says.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper