Sunday, November 27, 2022

Committee happy with Africa games preparations

Boitshoko Tsiane, the chairperson of the Games Standing Committee, a committee tasked with overseeing competitions under the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC), says the committee is happy with Botswana team’s preparations for the upcoming All Africa Games (AAG). Speaking in an interview, Tsiane said so far, preparations for the games have gone well.

“We are fairly happy with our athletes’ preparations for the games. We are confident that given the meagre resources we have at our disposal, we prepared fairly well,” Tsiane said. “Obviously, we would have been happy to help the athletes more, but our limited financial resources could not afford us such,” the Games Standing Committee chairperson added. He says all the sporting codes that will take part in the upcoming games have been helped as much as possible and the committee is confident they can achieve their games’ target medals.

Botswana team has a target of bringing 20 medals from the all Africa Games, an increase of six medals from their last medal haul of 14 they got from the 2007 Africa Games in Algeria.
Tsiane says although this had to be reviewed on account of several factors, among them funding and non-inclusion of other codes like softball, preparation for the Mozambique bound games “have, by and large, been geared towards this target”.

Tsiane, who is also the BNSC treasurer, says while his committee is primarily tasked with BNSC games, they are also working hand in hand with other stakeholders including the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) to ensure that the preparations help athletes beyond events under the BNSC.

To that extent, Tsiane says the codes have also included junior athletes, most of whom were found during the Botswana games, in their AAG teams to prepare for the future.

“We are working closely with sporting codes to infuse young and upcoming athletes into the team. Some of these young athletes were in the junior team that won medals at the junior championships but are not under any pressure to win,” he added.

Meanwhile, while the BNSC has set itself a target of 20 medals from the championships, sporting codes have on their own set themselves targets they want to achieve at the games.
If achieved, the country will find itself amassing at least 32 medals. The highest medal tallies will be expected from three codes, namely Athletics, Karate and Boxing.

Athletics and Karate have been set a target of seven medals each but they have each set themselves a target medal haul of eight a piece. Boxing, which has been set a medal target of four, has, on the other hand, pledged to bring home a total of five medals.

Botswana’s netball team, which is the third highest ranked team in the continent, will also be expected to bring a medal from the games. The country will be sending a strong team of 96 athletes to the Mozambique games, 19 more than they sent to the Algeria games.

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