Poor planning, collaboration and cooperation are results of poor performances in sport. These words were echoed by Minister of Sport, Youth empowerment and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare last new during a consultative meeting with national Sport associations. He implored sport leaders to re-organize sport so that optimum results can be achieved.
“Contrary to common belief, what stands between us and better performance is not lack of funding and lack of facilities per se, but rather poor planning, collaboration and cooperation; largely as a result of overlaps, duplications and sometimes unhealthy and unnecessary competition,” Rakgare told sport delegates. The vocal minister further observed that per capita, the Botswana Government spent more money than any other Government in the SADC region towards preparations for the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympics Games.
“If not the highest, the subvention that Botswana gives to sport per annum is easily amongst the top two in Southern Africa and possibly ranks high up in the top 5 in the entire African continent,” said the minister. Unlike in Botswana where the government gives sport associations annual subventions, a lot in the region and in the continent do not receive subventions from their governments and have to fend for themselves. “Half the time they would be lucky to get support to send teams to international competitions. Therefore, comparatively, Botswana sport is fairly well funded in so far as Government is concerned,” Rakgare told local sport leaders.
In terms of facilities Chillyboy, as the minster is commonly called within the sport fraternity is of the view that the country has sport facilities but they are underutilised. “Contrary to common belief, Botswana easily ranks amongst the countries with the most number of facilities per capita in the continent. In the region, if we are not second to South Africa, we are the best for many of the sports,” Chillyboy said.
He further observed that Botswana has abundance of sport stadia with tartan athletics tracks. He also told sports association leaders that both Zambia and Zimbabwe with significantly larger populations than Botswana have no more than one (1) Olympic size swimming pool. Botswana has had two (2) for a good number of years and I am reliably informed that we will soon be at four (4), as two (2) more pools are being built by private developers.
Despite Botswana being better than most countries in the continent in terms of funding by Government, the minister wondered why Botswana was not amongst the very best in the continent in terms of performance for most sports. Botswana’s structure is not the best and leads to duplications, wastages and inefficiencies, amongst other things. If we are to take care of those vices, again all of you will agree that Botswana will perform many folds better than now,” he assured. The minster is of the view that merging BNSC and BNOC will deliver the desired results.
The meeting was the first of its kind after the sport activities were uplifted after the end of the State of emergency. It was attended by both affiliates of BNSC and BNOC.