Thursday, October 28, 2021

When sport development is overlooked

There has been little funding dedicated to talent development programs in Botswana.

There is a need to establish a superior environment that facilitates the growth of junior athletes into senior and elite levels. According to Dr. Tshepang Tshube Senior Lecturer, Sport & Exercise and Psychology in the Department of Sport Science at the University Of Botswana has explained how the sport delivery system, and the role of sport governing bodies and the school sport administration works, how sport is currently implemented with implications on athletic talent development.

Dr Tshube noted that Botswana needs to be more intentional about sport development. He said “We are very lucky that BISA and BOPSSA have always done grassroots’ development in Botswana and we have exclusively relied on them for grassroots’ development. We therefore need to have a higher budget for grassroots’ development.”

“Botswana has a very small population-hence a smaller pool for talent identification. We therefore need to ensure that all kids play sport and have some form of physical activity at a national level. All kids in schools should be active,” noted Dr Tshube.

He further added that “Those that show potential for elite sport should be put in school of excellence. Schools of excellence should be equipped with talented and trained coaches. Talented athletes should remain in school from primary to university level. The current criterion to identify talent has had athletes drop out of school or fail to progress to the next level.” He further noted that “I believe the implemental of the school sport task team will address school sport concerns.”

When asked if there is enough funding and research on talent development programs, Dr Tshube noted that there is no research funding dedicated to talent development. Current studies are conducted out of individual interest. He said “Individuals are carrying out researches for their own personal interest; however they need the support of sports bodies to engage them to assist in making the researches relatable and for them to be used or applied.”

Moreover, Dr Tshube noted that psychologically, lack of sport development in the country can affect athletes as well as coaches. He said “We need a more holistic approach that will include mental and psychological skills.

In conclusion, Dr Tshube noted that for effective sport delivery system, sport bodies need to work more with schools for talent identification and nurturing.” he said. It is possible to change and get context specific talent development programs in the country. They need to use local experts to develop a context specific model for Botswana.

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