Friday, July 10, 2020

“SPORT FOR LIFE” BREATHES LIFE INTO BLTAD

The initiative of “Sport for Life”, which involves lifelong participation and the ability to enjoy sport and physical activity regardless of skill level or athletic retirement from sport, should be adopted for lifetime physical activity.

This was revealed by Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) in their plans for Botswana Long-Term Athlete Development (BLTAD) structure to promote a healthy lifestyle for athletes.

Active for life is the final phase of BLTAD where athletes go for amateur competitions and friendly competition. It is for all ages for those who do not have the need or want to pursue the podium level competition. Although some athletes may want competition, the main objective in this stage is to create a pathway to a healthy lifestyle rather than competition.

The BTA‘s ambition is to have an interactive session with the association’s coaches commission on how to best implement this stage of BLTAD.

The program will take place alongside with the Development of National Sports Systems (DNSS) which its implementation will end on November 2019.

The BTA plans to support tennis players in the final stage by establishing a social league for recreational play and future athletic goals. The association aims to conduct assessments thereafter to establish the level of commitment adding up to physical and mental status. BTA’s advice to the athletes is to consider other activities to continue physical to train cardiovascular endurance and hand-eye coordination.

One of the objectives of BTLAD structure is results cannot come immediately because excellence takes time. Researchers suggest that it takes roughly ten years of conscious practice to become an elite athlete, beginning at the grassroots level. As a result before the final stage of the BLTAD, the framework provides age-appropriate guidelines for training and competition from grassroots to podium and beyond.

The BTA aims to produce peak athletes at the age of 25 years in 2028 given that tennis is a sport where players are expected to reach their best at the age of 25 years. According to BTA following the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) 2028 strategic plan there was a need to begin with 15 year old athletes in 2018 to reach the peak by 2028.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.