The current school calendar will hamper team sports codes’ preparations for the African Youth Games (AYOGA).
This is so because team sports require players to train together as a unit. Programmes Officer at Botswana National Olympic Committee, Tapiwa Marobela, said most of the youth who are selected for national teams cannot meet for preparations as the Botswana school calendar is ongoing.
She said schools cannot be closed therefore codes should make a plan for themselves.
“We advise them to use weekends as some codes like football are using weekends. We also make sure that the kids get a chance to camp together and train together especially those in team sport,” said Marobela.
Marobela said it is fortunate that individual sports like athletics and swimming are easy to manage as they do not need athletes to train together as a group. Botswana males’ national team manager Peter Ubakar told The Telegraph that preparations for the games are going smoothly.
He said the problem is that the children are being separated by the school calendar. He said some are very far apart from each other.
Ubakar said this makes it hard for them to put the children together for preparations.
Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Serufho, said the disturbance of preparations is unavoidable.
“However teams should come up with a solution on how they can prepare for these games well in time,” said Serufho.
He expressed unhappiness that the Ministry of Education had decided to shift the school calendar to accommodate these games. Serufho also lamented the low water levels of Gaborone dam, saying that would affect sports like rowing and canoeing.
He said by February a decision is to be taken on where these sports can be moved ÔÇô to other areas in Botswana or somewhere else.
Serufho said all was going well with accommodation as over 4,000 participants, including officials and coaches, would be accommodated at the University of Botswana.
On a positive note, Serufho said he was happy that over P75 million would be spent. He said this means local businesses will benefit as well as the economy of this country.
“There are some who will be coming here at their own expense. They will be using local transport taxis and local flights. The hospitality business also will benefit,” said Serufho.
He said small business operators would benefit by selling raw materials, adding that the spillover would be good for tourism.
The Africa Youth Games, with children of ages 14 to 18, is expected to attract 2500 participants in 21 sport codes and will start in May.