Women in Sport Botswana (WASBO) over the weekend hosted the ‘Gender sensitive reporting and Athlete’s empowerment workshop alongside the media.
Marketing and Public Relations Officer for WASBO, Thulaganyo Retshabile, said the overall objective for the engagement was to contribute to a more diverse equipped media and society as well as promoting ideas and experiences between both athletes and media.
Research has shown that athletes with no media training tend to hide their emotions, appear nervous or uncomfortable speaking to reporters and shy away from the camera. However, athletes that have been through media training will appear conversational with reporters and have no fear or trouble expressing their true thoughts about their performance.
“WASBO decided to bring this potential source of information on board to train them to gain confidence and be assertive,” Retshabile said.
As the event unfolded, athletes indicated that indeed they are not confident with interviews because of self-doubt and tend to be afraid to answer sensitive questions.
“We have put 11 guidelines in place to help them handle interviews and better present themselves. These include being able to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner, build self confidence from within them, be assertive, prepare for interviews, dress appropriately, feel free, stay on the message and lastly keep the messages short and appropriate,” Retshabile pointed out.
Even though it seems media and athletes are stepping in the right direction to better their relationship, unfortunately out of the 24 sporting codes registered under Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) only four turned out to grace the event.
“We have taken a deliberate decision to make this training and engagement an annual event. However, we were not pleased with the number of sporting codes that showed up. Rugby, Bowling, Judo and Professional Boxing were the only sporting codes present and we do not know why others did not show up,” she said.
Sporting codes were not the only ones who missed the show as no one turned up for the Gender Sensitive reporting session. According to Rethabile the reason for the no show was that participants said they never received any invitation to the event. Retshabile promised to address the matter.