The new Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Shaw Kgathi, has vowed to develop the ministry during his tenure in office, noting that he has always contributed to the Ministry in different ways.
“I have been at the forefront of the sport policy development, developments of stadium as well as being in the 2010 task team during my stay in parliament,” he said.
He also noted that he has vast experience in the sporting code, stating that he has held higher positions, including sports master at junior and senior schools and also as a Director in the Department of Sports and Recreation. “I am assuming this office with full understanding of what has been done in the ministry and I will take every aspect of what is expected of me as the minister as a challenge and do things to the of best of my ability. People have shown appreciation by voting me in and I will try by all means not to disappoint them,” Kgathi noted.
He explained that there are major challenges in all sports codes, noting that they will, however, work hard to combat them.
“Performance is still and continues to be a major problem in our sporting codes. We are working on centers of excellence where we can nurture and develop talent,” he said. He added that picking athletes on the basis of chances can’t take the sports far, noting that a place has to be set where talent can be nurtured and developed from a tender age.
“Youth programs like Re Ba Bona Ha are good initiatives and the government should spend more money on them to attain talent and also build elite competitions,” added Kgathi.
He asserted that there are countries that have pursued models like these, looked at development and attained good results from them.
“Constituency league tournaments are also a good program because through them, talent is discovered. “Sport governing bodies should be able to use these leagues to source talents,” he said, adding that “another major problem we have is facilities and structures”. He noted that they were trying to spread them around the country for everyone to benefit.
“There is a lot of talent in villages who may not be part of organizations such as BOTESSA and BISA and who may need such facilities to develop their talents. We also encourage all sports bodies to decentralize for the growth of sports in our country,” he said.
“Youth is also of concern to this ministry. We are taking keen interest in developing young people. We appreciate the fact that they are not homogenous. They are varied, some are into academics, sports and some may be roaming the streets and unemployed. We are, therefore, working towards ensuring that all programmes availed to them are applicable in those senses,” he noted. He further said there are youth officers spread throughout the country to assist youth in whatever project they may want to pursue. In addition, he said in relation to culture, because of the diverse nation Botswana is, they will also put in place programs that will benefit the whole nation when dealing with cultural issues.