Wednesday, September 30, 2020

BNOC to keep an eye on athletes’ preparations

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tuelo Serufho, says his committee will be keeping a hawk’s eye on the provisional team preparing for the Olympics.

Speaking in an interview, Serufho says while the BNOC will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that athletes are well prepared for the London Summer Olympics, they will also not hesitate to drop athletes from the programme if they feel they cannot make the Olympic team.

“The BNOC will be looking for monthly reports for all athletes in the provisional team. This will be to keep track of their progress and to ensure that the resources we have are used accordingly,” the BNOC CEO said.

While quick to point out that they will drop athletes from the programme if they do not show any progress, Serufho however said they will consider keeping young athletes in the programme with an eye on the future. Apart from the training aspect, the BNOC CEO says they will also be keeping an eye on other aspects of athletes’ preparations like no drugs compliance.

“We have put every member of the provisional team in the anti doping register pool and will be subjected to testing at any given opportunity. This will apply to all athletes, both local and outside the country. Though we may not go outside to test athletes, you must be aware that we are signatories to anti doping policies and can therefore request other countries which are signatories to do it on our behalf wherever the athletes are,” the BNOC CEO said.

Meanwhile, Serufho says preparations for the London Olympics showpiece remains on course. The BNOC says it intends to take at least 20 athletes to the world’s biggest sporting showpiece where they also aim to bring Botswana its maiden Olympic medal.

To show commitment, the BNOC has funded athletes’ preparations for the showpiece, sending a large number to training facilities outside the country. “We have a number of athletes in high performance centres in South Africa and Senegal. Apart from these, another athlete from Judo, Advent Monyatsiwa is in Algeria training there. From swimming, we have four athletes training outside the country. Two of them, John Kamyuka and Deandra van de Colff have been sent to one of the best swimming training centers in Australia. The remaining two swimmers, Naomi Ruele and Adrian Todd are based at the Pretoria High Performance Centre and in the United Kingdom respectively,” Serufho said.

Serufho says while they have enough money to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers, the BNOC is still struggling to find money for codes like Netball and Rugby Sevens to help them prepare for events beyond the London Olympics.

“As you may know these Olympic preparations run parallel with others in the London 2012 and beyond plan and it was our desire that these codes also get preparations well in advance as it takes a long time to get ready for such events,” he said.

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