Friday, December 3, 2021

Tough challenges ahead for cycling’s new executive committee

After four years without an elected Executive Committee, the Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) has finally elected into office a committee to run and organize its day to day activities.

The new committee was elected into office during the BCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held last week. The committee will take over from an interim committee that has been running the local cycling mother body for four years now.

Though expected to hold its first ever meeting since being elected into office, the new committee, according to its President Mmetla Masire, is already in office though the final transitions from the old committee are being made.

Though the arrival of the committee is seen as a breakthrough and a mark of progress by the BCA, the committee’s new president said there is an enormous task ahead of them if they are to see cycling in the country progress any further.

“First of all, we have to try and unite cycling in Botswana. At the moment, there is an element of disjointedness among our various members and uniting them will be one of our top four priorities. This will not be easy but we are positive it can be done,” Masire explained.

Asked whether the fact that only two clubs, namely Tsela Riders and the Gaborone Cycling Club, have been dominating cycling while the others have been almost been pushed into oblivion would not make it even more difficult to unite the local cycling clubs, Masire said he is positive unity can be achieved.

“Unlike in the past, BCA committees where the two clubs always dominated, if you look into the new executive committee, you will see that members of various cycling clubs have been elected into the committee. This we are hopeful will give the BCA an element of inclusiveness and will get clubs united,” the BCA President said.

The second most pressing challenge for the committee, according to Masire, will be to oversee an overhaul of the BCA constitution and its administrative structure.

“There are a lot of things that need to be looked into with regards to our constitution. While the constitution was good for getting us registered again, it will not be of much help if cycling is to make good progress,” he stated. “Our third priority will be to get us affiliated with international federations. Currently, we are not affiliated to any international federations and this means we cannot as a country compete in international events. We would, however, like to see our cyclists competing internationally and affiliating will thus be a priority,” the BCA President said. “Our fourth and last priority will be the development of athletes or cyclists. As with any other sport, we will need to unearth and develop cyclists if we are to compete in future,” Masire explained.

However, there is a little hitch that is likely to stand in the way of the new committee, time. According to the BCA constitution, a committee’s term in office is limited to just one year. Asked if they can achieve their priorities in that very short time, Masire said it cannot happen.

“This is one of the reasons why overhauling our constitution is a priority. For a committee to make any tangible change, it needs at least two years in the office. Looking at the magnitude of the work we have ahead of us, we will need at least two to three years to give BCA stability,” the new President said.

On issues relating to competitions, the BCA President said his executive will not be increasing the number of competitions for the BCA but will rather continue with the only competition in its calendar, the national championships.

“Our main focus during our tenure will be to build the BCA. We will however support all the club competitions and see that others also have active competitions,” Masire concluded.

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