Monday, September 28, 2020

Gender equality hits sports

As one way of developing sports among women in Botswana, an organisation called Women and Sports Botswana (WASBO) has embarked on a two-week long training camp for students. The camp that started last week is providing skills in five sporting codes that are, football, volleyball, table tennis, basketball and cricket.

One of the pioneers of the initiative, Dorcus Montlane, told The Sunday Standard that the programme mainly targets girls so that they may, in future, be forces to reckon with just like boys.

Montlane said gender inequalities in sports needed to be addressed. She said they started by targeting one secondary school, and if all went well, all schools in Botswana would be covered.

“We started with Matlala Community Secondary in Tlokweng. The students will be taught different skills of the five sporting codes.

The students will be together in camp for a period of two weeks. Our aim is to encourage more students to take sports seriously. Hopefully many of them will be interested and make a living out of sports in the future,” Montlane said.

Experienced and expert volunteers in the individual fields teach the kids the basics of the game, she said. Montlane, who is also the chairperson of Sports Volunteers Movement, expressed gratitude at the level of response from the volunteers. She said they came in larger numbers than she expected.

Montlane said the camp, which is sponsored by the Botswana National Sports Council, would run for a three-year period during the school holidays. After three years, WASBO is going to sit down with all concerned stakeholders for evaluation of the camps.

The camps are not only offering sports activities, but also educational programmes. These include, among others, career guidance and counseling, traditional values, survival courses, personal growth and Health and Nutrition.

Career guidance and counseling would enhance the students in educational and occupational exploration, career planning, preparation and transition.

Traditional values teachings would mainly focus on family values and traditional knowledge that warrants respect and dignity.

Survival courses would be more of experimental learning and orientation, hill walking, scrambling, wall/rock climbing.

Montlane added that survival courses develop character and teach people to accept, welcome and meet challenging situations in a holistic manner.
Personal growth, on the other hand, will be working on different natural strengths and weaknesses.

Participants would be exposed to both traditional and contemporary self-introspection techniques. The participants would, in turn, learn ways that would lead them to work towards their full potential in everything they do.

Health and nutrition would be mainly on encouragement of smart eating habits. Other strategies, which will be incorporated in the lecturers, are having regular family meals, the individual being a role model by eating healthy food.

Participants would also be cautioned against nutritional related diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure so that the youths are empowered to undertake appropriate eating habits and to carry them on into adulthood.

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