The political animosity and instability that have recently bedeviled the local track and field governing body is expected to come to an end following the reshuffling of the BAA executive committee on Saturday.
The local track and field governing body has a mammoth task ahead as the corporate sector lost confidence in the association following well-publicized infighting. The association will have to redefine its development structures, revamp school of excellence programme and improve relationship with schools’ sports associations.
“I do not want to see athletes registering for competitions individually. I want to make sure clubs exist in their true nature and have more athletes”, said Mooketsi. The BAA president said he wants to restore sanity at the association, which has never had a president who completed his term since 2010 as affiliates tabled motions of no confidence on their executive committees.
Thari blamed the infighting at BAA on leaders from affiliates who want to be rewarded for voting in certain people. But he declined to elaborate. Thari possesses vast experience in sport leadership, which goes back to the 80s, having served as secretary general of the then south central regional football association.
He played part in the formation of African Universities Sport Federation (FASO), also a founding member of Lefika club, and participated in formation of the premier league, which is now called Botswana Tertiary Schools Sports Association. Thari lamented that BAA affiliates exist as members but athletes suffer as these clubs are without active leadership, which sometimes forces athletes to move from one club to another. The defiant Thari believes that it is time to restructure athletics and increase number of regions.
“Athletes come and go but clubs remain. Secondly there is need to extend regions to spread athletics across the country”, explained BAA president. Thari shied away from relating his relationship with his predecessor. “I cannot say we have a good relationship or we do not”, said Thari.
The new administration was ushered into office by affiliates on Saturday in Gaborone. The association had to call a special general assembly 21 days after Moses Bantsi, Legojane, Glody Dube and Ronald Masalila resigned. The outgoing president Bantsi and Thari have overthrown one another since 2010. Bantsi and other executive committee members resigned after the affiliates tabled a motion of no confidence on their Secretary General Kebaitse Legojane.
Thari, who is expected to lead BAA to the next elective AGM in 2019, must act fast since local competitions must continue as well as preparations for the 2017 Bahamas relays and world champions in London. The newly elected president claimed that his administration has hit the road running with the hosting of track & field event on Saturday at Francistown Sports Complex at 1400hrs.
This event is organised as part of the BAA planned calendar of events and will be used by national team coaches to select the team that will compete at the World Championships in August. The newly elected committee is made up of known administrators in BAA circles.
Thari Mooketsi from Lefika Athletics Club was unopposed for the top position; the controversial Kenneth Kikwe from Orapa Athletics Club was also unopposed for the position of vice president technical. Raymond Phale of Francistown Athletics Club defeated Kelebogile Mogapi from Serowe Athletics Club by 21-2 votes for the position of Secretary General. BAA affiliates elected Ipolokeng Ramatshaba of Mmadinare Athletics Club who had to battle it out with Lulu Basinyi of Palapye Athletics Club for the position of publicity secretary. Ramatshaba won by 19 votes against 4.