In their quest to create a conducive environment for participation of women and girls in sports, Women And Sports Botswana (WASBO)-Gaborone region recently launched a campaign titled “IT’S ON US” aimed at protecting female athletes against sexual harassment in sports.
“IT’S ON US” is an international campaign that was launched in the United States, calling for protection of college girls against sexual abuse in sports. The campaign was later adopted by Botswana in 2015 at the United Nations (UN) youth summit held in USA, Florida. WASBO Gaborone region called all relevant sports stakeholders and associations last week to a meeting that was held in Tlokweng to share and implement ideas in the official launch of the campaign.
WASBO Gaborone region Chairperson, Keenese Neoyame Katisenge said in an interview that the campaign was adapted to Botswana’s sporting fraternity with the aim of creating a suitable atmosphere for girls to participate in sports.
“As sports people in the country we found it fit to utilize the program and we are actively advocating for protection of female athletes. We have engaged sports unions to enlighten them about our mission and vision in order for them to take the campaign forward and spread it to their respective associations,” Katisenge said.
She further stated that WASBO aims to attract more girls in sports and enable them to excel and stay longer in sports.
“It’s a source of concern that a large number of female athletes drop out from sports at an early stage,” she said.
At the launch, sports associations were given opportunities to share initiatives and measures that they have been put in place to ensure that female athletes are protected against sexual abuse. Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association (BOPSSA) indicated that since they deal with kids at primary and grassroots level, they are extra careful when choosing coaches and administrators.
“We choose people who are suitable and qualified to deal with kids, more especially girls.”
Former national team volleyball player Tsoseletso Magang, who was representing retired athletes, also encouraged retired female athletes to guide young girls so they can excel in sports.