Monday, July 4, 2022

BNSC takes over Sports Centres of Excellence projects

The Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) has taken over the running of the School Centres of Sports Excellence (CSE) from the Department of Sports and Recreation (DSR). The move, which came into effect this year, will see the BNSC now run all the twelve CSE projects across the country.

The Centres were established through collaboration between the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture (MYSC) and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD).

Speaking in an interview, BNSC Sports Development Manager-Technical, Bobby Gaseitsiwe, said the takeover is a mutual agreement between the government through the MYSC, MoESD as well as the DSR and the BNSC. According to the BNSC Sports Development Manager-Technical, the takeover will ensure that the CSE benefit from the expertise available at the BNSC.

Gaseitsiwe said, with the takeover, the BNSC will oversee the development of talent in all the CSEs. Already, the BNSC has employed various Sports Development Officers for the seven codes that are included in the CSE Projects, and these officers will be the ones monitoring the developments.

He said the Development Officers will not be involved in the day to day running of the CSEs but will rather be a link between the Centres, the sporting codes and the BNSC.

Asked on what the BNSC will be doing differently to what the government through its ministries and departments have been doing in the running of the Centres, Gaseitsiwe  said aside from providing the necessary capacity and ensuring that the CSE projects are run successfully, there will be nothing new the BNSC will add to the CSE programme.

“This is a new project for the BNSC as we have never undertaken any project similar and our priority when taking over was to make sure that the CSEs are run very efficiently and to make them a success. We will do nothing new to what the government has been doing,” Gaseitsiwe explained.

He said as such, they will be inviting all the sporting bodies which have sporting codes run at the CSEs to jump on board and provide as much support as possible. Quizzed on whether it was enough to have only teacher-coaches taking charge of developing the student-athletes at the Centres, Gaseitsiwe said that they, as the BNSC, have confidence in the ability of teacher-coaches, more so that they have good coaching qualifications.

He said that taking into consideration the burden that the teachers will have in juggling between their teaching duties and coaching, the BNSC will always consider other alternatives, even delegating permanent coaches to the CSEs should that be needed. He alluded that this will only be possible should there be funds to do as such and will be in the long term.

Meanwhile, Gaseitsiwe said while the BNSC will be in charge of the CSE Projects, the sporting mother body will strive to ensure that the student-athletes education is not compromised.

“These are student-athletes, not athlete-students. So obviously, student comes first and as such their education will always remain a priority. We have put in place measures that ensure that these student-athletes are not left behind in their school work while out there doing sports,” Gaseitsiwe.


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