BY ORATILE OTSETSWE
Sport has for a long time been misunderstood as a man’s alliance. Consequently, sportswomen suffer issues of discrimination, sexism and bullying.
However women are now turning the tide and advocating for equal treatment in sport by mentoring and promoting each other.
In an interview with Tsosoletso Magang of Tsosi Magang Sport Development Trust she said she intends to use her sport trust to run its own programs with other organisations and give women an opportunity to come and network with stakeholders for empowerment and support.
She explained that she has facilitated the running of a leadership programme for female captains during the 2018 Region 5 Youth Games as a development for empowering the girl child.
Magang added that she has a continuation project in which she partnered with Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) to mentor the captains of all the BISA teams throughout the country.
“To impart more knowledge and understanding women will be trained and used to run the course. BISA has pleaded that both males and females team captains be trained so that there is a learning involvement for both genders ”Magang added
She concluded that women are progressing well even though women do not have other women to help and offer support to them. Magang said as a result women hold workshops, table talks and monthly open discussions where ideas are generated from different angles to help women grow. The suggestions from the talks will then be taken as food for thought then implemented accordingly.
On her part outgoing IWG Secretary General and Women activist Game Mothibi said there is a gap in attracting more women to sport, especially at leadership level. She said women need to stand up for themselves and campaign for change to create conducive environment for other women.
Mothibi added that as a result more women role models are needed to advocate for structures, processes and policy that are meant to address inequalities and to empower and promote women and sport”
Explaining how they help vulnerable young female athletes Mothibi said when she was still with IWG she worked with Mentoring and Empowering Programme for Young Women (MEMPROW) to help athletes from a disadvantaged background to be put through a life skills programme so they work on their talents.
She added that together they partnered with Standard Chartered Bank to teach the young women the basics of saving and using money they receive from sport camps and competitions.
She revealed that MEMPROW is a mentorship programme which is originally from Uganda and found in different African countries for young girls between 13 and 19 years old which encourages women to join sport and offer services to other athletes and sport people like mentoring, career guidance, social workers and counselors
The BNSC runs sport heroes mentorship programme, it has athletes commission that is meant to engage athletes on all issues affecting them. There are women sport leadership academy graduates who are now mentors.
“Women who are in sport are doing fairly well considering where we come from. We have had two women heading BNSC in the history of sport, we have Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) to help advance women and sport agenda. There was a significant change after the coming of IWG in Botswana, where more women came out and showed interest in leadership position and taking up technical aspect of sport” Mothibi added.