Wednesday, May 25, 2022

BCA optimistic about future of cycling

The just resigned Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) Vice President, Morris Potongwane, believes foundations have been laid for the association’s newly elected executive committee to succeed.

Potongwane, who has just resigned from the 4-month-old Executive Committee, says he has utmost belief that the committee can do well in his absence. Speaking in an interview, Potongwane, who had led the BCA as an interim President for two years before he was voted its Vice President in April this year, said that with the committee members all having been involved in club cycling executive committees, they are capable of building on the foundations laid by his interim committee.

“I believe during the past two years, we have covered a lot of ground in stabilizing cycling in the country. Just the fact that we were able to vote an executive committee to lead cycling is, on its own, a big milestone in the development of cycling and is the best foundation we have laid for the advancement of cycling in the country,” the outgoing BCA Vice President said.

He added that apart from the election of the committee, BCA has also been able to ensure that it complies with all the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) rules to ensure its continued affiliation to the local sports mother body. With cycling being an Olympic sport, the outgoing BCA Vice President said the committee is also working on its affiliation to the Botswana National Olympic Committee.

“As you are well aware, Botswana will host the 2nd Africa Youth Games next year and cycling is part of the games. As such, there is an opportunity for local young cyclists to compete in the games, which if we achieve to do, will mark a very solid foundation for cycling development going forward,” he explained.

Potongwane, who quit the BCA to concentrate on his work and studies, has also expressed happiness at the growth the sport has experienced over the past few years while he was in the BCA executive. He said the increment of clubs from only two, which were based in Gaborone, to the current, which stands at seven, is an achievement which bodes well for cycling.

Whilst happy with the progress made, the outgoing Vice President said there are still challenges that the committee will face if they are to take cycling to the next level. “While we are now a fully recognized BNSC affiliate, we are yet to see the country competing in the international arena, it be regional, continental or otherwise. The challenge that remains now is for the executive committee to establish a national team that can represent the country at international competitions,” he explained. “If there is one thing I would have liked to see during my stint in the BCA, I would have liked to see a local rider winning an international competition. That would have made me happy. Unfortunately, that has not happened,” he continued.

Potongwane said one of the things that he would have liked to see, which he hopes the committee will achieve, is the formulation of a BCA Strategic Development Plan.

“The BNSC has made its own strategic plan and my wish is that the BCA adopts and formulates their own strategy to go along with the one of the BNSC. This would very much help create synergy between the clubs and the executive and in the long run help the BCA to successfully oversee cycling development nationally,” he said.

On the issue of sponsorships, Potongwane expressed happiness at the support clubs have received from local businesses, more especially with regards to competitions.

He, however, said he would have liked to see the sponsorship extended to individual cyclists and teams, something which he said could go a long way in helping in the development of local cyclists.

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