BAA president fancies re-election

Neo Masanako - BG Correspondent
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
SECOND BITE…Thari Mooketsi is BAA president SECOND BITE…Thari Mooketsi is BAA president

The President of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), Thari Mooketsi might contest for presidency again during the BAA elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) billed for later this year. BG Sport has been reliably informed by BAA affiliates that Mooketsi together with other members of the BAA executive committee are repositioning themselves well to retain their titles. It is alleged that they are busy with their campaign strategies and begging the support of close friends and affiliates during the elections.

“He came to us saying he will be seeking another term this year and we are shocked because initially it was said that he had no interest in running as president,” said the source that preferred anonymity. Mooketsi took over the reins at BAA on April 2017. At the time of ascending to presidency two years back, Mooketsi was faced with a mammoth task of restoring sanity to BAA. The Association was at the time engrossed in internal fighting.

Mooketsi’s return came as a shock to some given that he had served as BAA president previously. However he was ousted by a number of no confidence motions. It remains questionable as to whether the confidence has been restored on the president and if he will be able to captain the ship better unlike before. From a distance, it appears that not much has changed; the Association is still struggling financially despite being the best performing code locally.

BAA is finding it hard to secure even a single sponsorship. Moreover, there are still noticeable divisions within the Association; the Mooketsi led committee has on some occasions been labelled as difficult by affiliates. Even athletes have on many occasions decried that their welfare was compromised and even accused BAA of neglecting their needs. When reached, Mooketsi played his cards close to his chest saying that he was still undecided, “I have so many things to deal with at the moment and I have not really given it much thought,” he said in between giggles.

Mooketsi noted that the BAA presidency is not something to take lightly as he needs to reassess what he has achieved and what he will offer if he is to remain in power. He explained that at the moment he is looking forward to the Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) to be held in February. At the meeting the expectation is that affiliates will approve of the drafted rules and regulations meant to guide the association. For his part, the president of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Moses Bantsi said that he was not one to judge who is better placed to lead BAA. “All I can do is to support and work with any administration that is elected into power,” he said.

He said it was not easy to be in leadership positions and instead of criticizing all should come together to ensure that the Association mandate moves forward. “I am impressed by the athletes' consistency, they have been representing the country well out there despite the financial difficulties of the association,” Bantsi said. The CAA president went on to say that it becomes difficult to achieve set mandates without financial resources, saying even during his time as BAA president, there were certain things he wanted to achieve but could not.

He gave BAA a pat on the shoulder for seeing to it that IAAF president came to Botswana, for the very first time. Coe was in Botswana two months back.

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