The Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) has released its categorisation of National Sports Associations (NSAs) for funding purposes.
In the released categorisation, six (6) NSAs, being athletics, boxing, football, netball, softball and volleyball were placed in the high impact sports category, meaning they will take 56% of the sports budget from the BNSC.
As expected, the categorisation has caused an outcry among some NSAs, not least because aside from athletics and boxing, the other four codes in the high impact sports category have not produced expected results outside of the country.
According to sources, three NSAs have already complained to the BNSC decrying the new categorisation of sporting codes for funding purposes, sparking wild guesses over how the process was carried out.
Addressing the issue, BNSC chief executive officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho confirmed they have already had complaints on the matter. He however said sporting codes were aware of the incoming changes.
“We did consult National Sport Association (NSA) to alert them to expect changes to funding. We advised the NSA’s that we were going to fund them based on the extent to which they are assisting Botswana and the commission to achieve their long-term goals. We had long alerted them that we will be implementing a new funding model starting this financial year,” the BNSC CEO explained.
Serufho explained that sporting codes were ranked ‘according to the six broad goals derived from National vision 2036, Botswana National Sporting Commission (BNSC) vision 2028, Ministry of Youth empowerment, Sport and Culture development (MYSC) strategic plan.’ “From these broad goals we then came up with criteria,” he said.
The six goals are contribution of sport to society, athlete’s performance, high profile event hosting, increased (mass) participation, enhance national pride and unity as well as social impact. The first four were derived from BNSC vision 2028 while the last two come from national vision 2036.
“Out of the six broad goals we then came up with majors which include contribution to the GDP, return on investment, visibility of national symbols, international federations support, number of full-time local professionals to name a few. But all of this six relate to the goal of improving sport to society,” Serufho explained.
“When we go to improve athlete performance it is linked to international ranking and number of medals. We were measuring the recent day and future of sporting codes. The reason we included the future is due to the fact that some NSAs scored lower in the present day for various reasons. Some being that they were new NSAs that had not performed internationally and have not produced international athletes,” he explained.
On the complaints against some non-performing codes being placed in the high impact category, Serufho said NSAs are making a mistake of ‘basing the ranking on one form of performance instead of multi forms of performance.
“Football for example may not bring good results as expected but they are contributing to the national GDP,” he said.
“Volleyball may not have been very active for a long time, but being placed in the high impact position was due to the fact that in future they have the potential to score high as opposed to how they scored now. In terms of producing international athletes, volleyball has already produced them having the likes of Tracey Chaba Disang, most recently they have athletes in Rwanda who are scholars and playing there,” Serufho added.
On international levels in the Olympics, the most sort of sport is beach volleyball even their tickets are sold out faster than Athletics tickets. Due to this there is great potential of growth making it score higher.
“There must be a purpose for putting money in sport. We do not want to put money in vain because it is not helping anyone because now we know our children can get scholarship in USA to get themselves degrees and also improve in sport.
We want to put our money where we know we will have a lot more of Tsotso Ngele’s and Dipsy’s not only applying their trade in South Africa league but also in the European league,” the BNSC CEO said.
Serufho went on to explain that “If we are to look into tennis as opposed to volleyball, it is no lie tennis has good players but when it comes to the two, volleyball is easily accessible making it score better than tennis.”
He said the BNSC has already met with one of the three NSAs that have laid complaints.
“We were very transparent during this whole process, we shared scores accordingly with every NSA. Our issue is if they can convince us that they can contribute to the GDP and how, then maybe we will change their position; nonetheless they were happy with where they we placed. As for the other two who complained, they have not showed up to bring their evidence,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the BNSC CEO refused to disclose the names of the NSAs which were complaining.