Sports administrator must match elite athletes

Isaac Pheko
Friday, 15 September 2017
READY TO RUN…Mabiletsa and Gaolaolwe READY TO RUN…Mabiletsa and Gaolaolwe

The watershed Botswana National Olympic Committee  (BNOC) electoral General Assembly   scheduled for 7th October    is fast approaching.  For the first time in history there will be five presidential candidates contesting for the plum seat left behind by Negroes Kgosietsile who has been at the BNOC for over a decade.  

Former Commonwealth Amateur boxing Medalist France Mabiletsa is among the presidential candidates. Mabiletsa is expected to face   five   other sports   industry captain Tebogo Lebotse Sebego (netball), Daniel Molaodi (volleyball), Ookeditse Malesu (karate) and incumbent BNOC vice president Botsang Tshenyego. In a wide-ranging interview with BG sport   this week, Mabiletsa outlined   his campaign manifesto, sports administration philosophy and    unveiled his campaign team. The experienced and hardened sports administrator was both blunt and unflinching when outlining his philosophy to run the Olympic movement. “Our athletes are elite, they push themselves beyond a point where they are   above us as   administrators. However, I have an issue with that administrators must be above athletes, ” Mabiletsa argued, adding that this is a crucial angle at which sports administration must be approached. “Elite must match elite,” he said.

Moreover, Mabiletsa said to achieve results at top tier international   competitions   there was need to maintain a tentative national team. He argued that such athletes should be kept together and form a skeletal team even if   changes are made to the team along the way. “This is necessary if we need to achieve medals. We need a long-term plan. If we have a skeletal team everyone will be   able to focus and force national federations to plan in the long term.” Mabiletsa said he was not even sure whether the country   has a national   team for 2018 Commonwealth games   scheduled   for the Gold coast   in Australia. “We   should be   having a plan in the next Olympic   games.” However, Mabiletsa   said the BNOC   must be realistic when selecting codes to compete at the next   Olympics. According to the presidential hopeful  the sport codes like volleyball and fencing may not make it to the Olympics soon. On the dicey issue   of sponsorship, the experienced chartered accountant said a different approach was necessary.  

According to Mabiletsa, the BNOC   might need to sponsor individual athletes   if they   get opportunities abroad. He gave an example of sponsoring a single football player to go for    trials    in Europe as this will be more affordable and such player will come back and add value to the national team   during   important competitions. “Football will be able to   grow if there are   two professionals in the team.” The former   national team   Boxer said   there are    other ways   of sourcing    funds from the   public including the setting   up of a trust. However, Mabiletsa conceded   that such initiatives would not be   easy.  

The Botswana National Sports   Commission (BNSC) hall of fame hero said   there are also other ways to train sports administrators as they participate   in international competitions. There are   usually   training opportunities to   take advantage of when   administrators accompany athletes to   international competitions. An example is   the recent boxing championships. You might find that we are only required to pay  $300.00 to attend a course. Once in office Mabiletsa said   they would take   full advantage of   the Olympic day movement by pulling different sports codes that are   usually left in the   fringes.  The   presidential hopeful cited sport codes like yachting and cycling adding that such codes can be given exposure during the Olympic movement day. Mabiletsa’s team consists of Rampa Mosweu (First Vice President candidate), Grace Gaolaolwe (additional members candidate), Dr Lesego Sikele (additional member candidate).  According to Mabiletsa’s manifesto the team consists of private sector representation, medical professionals   and people   with elite sport participation.

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