By Patience Lephogole
Of all prople who take up sports a single one of them may in the long run become a victor however, at the end of the day all will be champions.
In today’s world, Sports helps people more than within the physical aspects alone.
It builds character, teaches and develops strategic thinking, analytical thinking, leadership skills, goal setting and risk taking, simply to call some.
Sports help develop the attitude of never being unduly bothered about consequences, whilst helping to develop a positive body language.
It teaches athletes to have team spirit, that is working towards a common goal as a member of a team, selflessly, personal interests notwithstanding.
Although winning is important in sports, losing is not a disgrace either, only being generous and graceful in victory as well as in defeat helps one to remain focused hence developing positively.
Moreover, Sports teaches one to never give up. ‘Success is just round the bend’, being persistent, and then nothing will be impossible.
However, you never know how close you are to success when you give up; hence one is always told to never give up. Even a loss teaches you how not to do something, or how it could be done better. No setback or loss is permanent; hence those involved in sports never lose hope.
According to Footballers’ Union Botswana (FUB) Secretary General Kgosana Masaseng, the identity of any player centres around his profile and to remain relevant, the player uses football to develop as an athlete and as a brand.
He said “Sponsors tends to associate with players to enhance their position and popularity and in achieving such relevance, the sponsors leverage from the player’s popularity to position them.”
“It is this nature of association that would see players develops, not only on the field but their off-field profile as well. Football players should have a relatively good image on the market space and conduct themselves with acceptable professionalism,” he highlighted.
Masaseng further noted that there are risks that are encountered along the way.
He said: “There is a risk that entities that associate with players tend to place their business interests as the only priority. As in any investment, there is an inherent risk and for players it ranges from, the image of player and his/her professionalism.”
“The sponsors would then put strict measures to protect their brand. It therefore calls for proper management of the relationships to meet the expectations of all parties involved in order to deliver value to the stakeholders involved,” he added.
“Players, because of the socioeconomic stature, have a huge ability to influence or direct consumption behaviours by endorsing the sponsors’ products. Through their diverse following, have potential to connect to the sponsors target group and subsequent image transfer. Once well packaged, players’ image suddenly becomes an obvious vehicle to generate awareness and better market positioning for the products they endorse,” he added.
Masaseng further noted that despite all that, the distinctive elements sponsors emphasize when making consideration of the player’s personal image include values, what they can offer and the skills that set them apart.
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) spokesperson Taolo Tlouetsile says in his own view, sports immensely contributes to an athlete’s personal development.
He said: “Sports usually helps an individual to be self disciplined, to meet people from different walks of life whilst appreciating different characters and tolerating their cultures.”
“Boxing like martial arts, after games athletes hug each other, a gesture that shows that they are grateful to their opponent for making them a better athlete and helping them bring out the best in them,” Tlouetsile added.
He said despite all that, athlete face challenges which through their discipline overcome, varying from financial constraints to attend international competitions, access to better facilities to less training and competition equipments.
He said: “Boxing being an individual sport, it teaches you to focus on your strengths and abilities, not on your opponents’ strengths and capabilities.”