Thursday, May 23, 2024

WASBo optimistic as Girl’s Positive and safe coaching pathway initiative progresses 

Early this year, The Association for International Sport For All (TAFISA) and Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) launched an initiative to empower young girls in sport.

The initiative, known as the ‘TAFISA girl’s positive and safe coaching pathway’ seeks to promote a safe and positive coaching environment for girls. It will run for a period of 12 months, starting from the 26th of January 2024 and ending in December 2024. 

Four months into the program, a report compiled by the program’s head of monitoring and evaluation Shikha Trivedi shows the initiative is already reaching some of its intended milestones. In the same report, WASBo and TAFISA report they have so far hosted three workshops in collaboration with Sport Management Agency (SMA). The first of these, which was themed ‘Safeguarding workshop,’ was held for the NSAs on the 16th of March this year.  

Twenty (20) sports leaders attended the workshop alongside parents and representatives from the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture Development. Ten (10) NSA’s, being tennis, boxing, chess, Botswana Tertiary Schools Sports Association, table tennis, judo, basketball, karate and the Botswana Integrated Sports Association attended the workshop. 

Following on from that, another workshop, held under the theme ‘Guardians of the game-Safeguarding reporting, responses & referrals in sport’ was held on the 26th of March 2024. The webinar emphasised the importance of safeguarding in sports and featured a panel discussion led by safeguarding experts in the sports industry. This second workshop was hosted virtually to allow different stakeholders across the country to attend. A total of 58 participants were recorded to have attended the workshop. 

The third and last workshop of the first quarter of the year was recently held on the 13th – 14th of April at Botho University. The workshop, still intended for NSA’s, athletes and parents attracted 85 participants. 

From its launch to date, WASBO has recorded a number of 263 participants from the first three workshops including the launch, with 10 media houses having covered the initiative. According to the registration analysis, females are registering for the program more as compared to their male counterparts.  

A percentage derived from 85 responses of participants shows that women’s registration stands at 74.1% against 25.9% for men. Of the participants, 34.1% are administrators, 15.3% are coaches, 18.8% are officials, 12.9% are athletes. The remaining 18.8% is composed of other stakeholders including parents and the media. 

WASBO Secretary General, Keenese Katisenge-Tizhani says the program is going as planned so far. The program is now entering its second phase which encompasses the training of coaches.

At the start of the program, WASBo selected four elite female trainers to lead the coaches’ training program. The four are International Tennis Federation (ITF) Development Officer for Southern Africa Tapiwa Masunga, Botswana Rugby Union Board member and World Rugby Coach Gorata Kgathi, Botswana Football Association (BFA) women’s football development officer Barobi Nwako and Godiraone Kabuku from the Botswana Paralympics Committee. 

The four selected trainers are expected to train 50 coaches each, making a total of 200 coaches trained through and by the program. The coaches are selected by National Sport Associations (NSA’s) to be trained through the program. At its peak, these trainers, supervising the coaches, are expected to reach over 1000 athletes.   

“We were currently waiting for the schedule of trainings for our four selected trainers as mentioned before and they are now going to take over and start training coaches. We were waiting for them to consolidate their schedules for both the virtual and physical training because this is one of the key aspects of the program.” 

“They are going to start conducting virtual trainings as individuals and then they will undergo a consolidated physical training for all of them where they will have the opportunity to invite all their 50 target coaches. As they do this we as WASBO will be continuing with the workshops with NSA’s and other stakeholders,” Katisenge- Tizhani says.

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