Former PASSOBO President Shirley Keoagile has been elected an executive member of the newly elected Confederations of African Deaf Sports (CADS) board.
Keoagile has been voted to serve for the next four years (2016-2020). The former PASSOBO President was voted at the elective general assembly that was held a week ago in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Also the Executive Director of the Botswana Association of the Deaf/Botswana Federation of Disabled (BOFOD), Keoagile has told The Telegraph that her intensions are to tighten screws in appraising relevant authorities that deaf sport is recognized in the country.
“As an executive member of the board we collectively have a mandate to reposition deaf sports in Africa and it is upon me and my team that we also elevate the local setup,” said Keoagile.
She said despite funding challenges faced by disabled athletes in Botswana, it is upon her that they get the same support and compete with other African counterparts.
“Botswana has to make sure deaf people participate in Deaflympics Games just like any other athlete. I am on a mission to fight for the deaf in sports. I will make sure that national structures recognize and support deaf sport on its own as much as we made it clear about Paralympics. There are a lot of deaf sport games and they should be treated as a stand-alone to be able to appreciate and recognized their efforts and talent. We need to witness change and embrace diversity and equity. The goal of sport serves everyone and we all need to enjoy sport despite physical challenges,” Keoagile said.
The BOFOD Executive Director stated that all stakeholders have to come on board if they are to elevate deaf sport to another level.
“This assignment will not be easy if my country does not support me. I need full support from the local sports fraternity and government. We are already being recognized by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) to drive mandate repositioning deaf sport and this will need us to work hard collectively. I want to make sure that deaf people also are given the chance and opportunity to take part in Africa championships,” Keoagile explained.
“Chances are high that we will miss Deaflympics which are next year, we did not prepare for the games as there is no budget. My intension during my term in office is to make sure that we prepare well and have running structures that will assist our athletes in living their dream despite physical challenges,” she concluded.