The Botswana National Sports Council has handed basic training equipment to the Mogoditshane Senior Secondary School Centre of Sports Excellence. The equipment, which was handed to the school by the BNSC Chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng, is available courtesy of a P1, 2 million funding from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony on Thursday, Reikeletseng said the equipment was to ensure that student athletes at the Mogoditshane School Sport Centre of Excellence have basic equipment to use in their day to day training. He said the availing of the equipment follows after it was realized that one of the major challenges facing the School Sport Centres of Excellence was lack of equipment.
The BNSC Chairperson said as such, the more than one million pula availed to the BNSC for equipment in Centres of Excellence will be used to buy equipment for seven codes, namely football, athletics, boxing, karate, netball, softball and volleyball, which are the only sporting codes catered for in the country’s School Sports Centres of Excellence.
“By contributing this sports equipment, we trust that the student athletes will be assisted towards a winning performance and that their years of training and hard work will pay off well in the future to them and the country,” the BNSC Chairperson said.
He warned that availing the equipment is not a guarantee that the student athletes will be at the top but is rather to make sure that athletes use them for their daily training ‘to refine their skills.’
He said the availing of equipment and the constant visits by the Ministry officials and the BNSC staff to Sports Centres of Excellence was a sign that ‘both the Government and the BNSC takes the Centre of Sports Excellence projects very seriously and that we will make sure that the existing gaps are closed.’
The BNSC Chairperson said the equipment handover marks yet another milestone in the country’s efforts to enhance sport talent identification and development. Reikeletseng said through the task team that was appointed with the advice from the 2011 Sports Pitso, the BNSC is aware of some of the challenges that have been besieging some of the centres. He said as such, they are now in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development in making sure that teacher-coaches are transferred to Centres of Sports Excellence as they believe that right skills have to be passed to these athletes at a younger age. The Mogoditshane School Sports Centre of Excellence, which is probably the biggest in the country, houses at least five different sporting codes. The school was given equipment for Athletics, Boxing, Football, Karate and Netball.