Student athletes spend as much or more time on sports, leaving them little time for studying. As a way of bridging that gap, Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) has come up with a plan which allows athletes to thrive in their academic and athletic responsibilities.
Under the initiative, Footballers Union Botswana will hire tutors for the under 15 and under 20 women football national team players. This came up after Women Football Coach, Oaitse Moeti lamented what he perceived to be a lack of will to help national team athletes catch up on their academics.
The Mexican Girls’ coach called on accountable bodies to support athletes who had lost time in national duty with their academic needs, more especially during this time when coronavirus has disrupted learning in schools.
Reached for comment Moeti explained that he noticed that players often fulfill their national duty assignments while their welfare is not taken care of.
He gave an example of athletes who represented Botswana in international tournaments last year, who he said were left behind in their studies.
“Those athletes performed their national duties. They sacrificed their studies to make it to camp and competitions. Then came the pandemic and lockdowns which further affected their learning process,” he explained.
Moeti said the students, more especially those who will be sitting for their final exams, need support during this time when there is no sport to help them do well in their academics.
Following Moeti’s concerns, FUB requested him to write a formal letter of concern regarding the issue, and the union subsequently acted and agreed to help.
According to FUB member Bonang Otlhagile, the union has since identified 11 final year students to be the first beneficiaries of the initiative.
The students include nine (9) who will be sitting for their final Junior Certificate examinations and another two (2) who are set to write their form five BGCSE examinations.
Otlhagile says the plan is for the selected players to receive tuition on all subjects accordingly. The tutorials started on 16th September this past week. She noted that FUB assisted the bunch with a mandate to empower and mould the outcome of the exams into success.
“One of the core business of FUB is to take into consideration players’ welfare. The well-being of athletes covers many facets and education is one of them,” she explained.
“Through the usage of tutors, players are going to be drilled on how to answer questions effectively and efficiently. Tutors will take them through previous exam papers thus these student athletes will be in a better position to succeed when they write exams,” she said.
Otlhagile who is also the senior national team captain explained that the initiative is a foundation which will convince teams and parents that players future in both sport and academics are well cared of.
“This initiative will also motivate players to work hard both academically and on the field. It will serve as a great motivation to all women footballers and teams involved,” she said.