Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Olympic Value Education Program (OVEP) at a media briefing held in Gaborone this week.
When giving a keynote address, BNOC President Colonel Botsang Tshenyego said they were exultant to witness this endeavour between BNOC and BISA. “BISA is a custodian of school sport in Botswana and an associate member of BNOC, this makes them a key partner in the delivery of Olympic Value Education Program (OVEP) because they already have teachers, students and other resources such as school grounds and other facilities,” he said.
According to Tshenyego, Olympic Value Education is a program intended to endow young people to become better citizens. “Currently, there is a lot of influence and pressure amongst our youth arising from social ills; we anticipate with this program which echoes very well with character building in schools, we can assist in curbing bad behaviour in schools and in communities at large,” He said.
BNOC President further noted that this program is a fun and engaging set of activities to draw kids into education. “The programme is not just about sports; it takes a broad, inclusive approach that include the Arts, Culture, Math, History, and Geography. It also introduces you to new ways of teaching more collaboratively, building new skills and experiencing value-based education,” said the BNOC President. For his part, BISA President, Joshua Gaotlhobogwe said, “The role of sport is not just about profiling us as a country but is also to help develop responsible and assertive young citizens who are empowered to make better and informed decisions concerning their lives in general.
Life does not have to end after a sporting career; we should have contributed to the development of our students in order for them to have a bright future in and outside sports. We should be delighted that they will someday contribute to the growth of our economy but first we must change our approach in order to achieve that dream,” said Gaotlhobogwe.
“Through OVEP there will be a lot of awareness on the benefit of sport to individuals and the society at large thus this will in turn make it easier to sell sport as career to our learners and their parents. Through this venture, our learners will meet their role models such as Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe and Christine Botlogetswe just to mention a few,” he explained.
Speaking with BG Sport on the sidelines of the press briefing, BNOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho said education and sport build strong character, “The role of sport in our lives is tremendous because it helps better the society, hence this initiative (OVEP) which specifically targets certain individuals to lead their lives to the right direction. In light of this, we are a society with a lot of challenges; there are so many incidents that we always hear that young students have beaten up their teachers and sometimes get engaged in undesirable habits, so we are targeting to up skill them at a tender age,” he said.
Over 200 Botswana integrated Sports Association (BISA) and Botswana Primary School Sports Association (BOPSSA) athletes are currently in Maseru, Lesotho where they are expected to compete in the COSSASA games.
The ongoing multisport games started yesterday (Thursday). The official opening of the games was expected earlier today (Friday). The four-day showpiece is expected to conclude this Saturday and the rest of the team is expected back home on Monday.
Botswana is represented by six sport codes including Rugby, Netball, Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis and football. The team is made up of the under 13, 15 and 17 girls and boys.Speaking to BG Sport shortly before departure at the team’s send -off ceremony on Monday in Gaborone, BISA spokesperson Letsweletse Jonas said they would be going all out to defend their championship title in Lesotho.
Botswana secured nine medals in Zimbabwe last year and Jonas said they aim to increase the tally to at least 10. “It will not be a walk in the park, we expect to lock horns with powerhouses from South Africa, Malawi and Swaziland,” he said.
Jonas explained that South Africa and Swaziland have been absent from the tournament for a while and they expect them to come out stronger than ever.
Nevertheless he assured that his team is ready and they will not concede to any pressure imposed on them.
Given the four years that Botswana has been participating at the COSASSA games, Jonas said they have managed to maintain a good record as far as bringing home good results is concerned.
However his wish is to see other sporting codes included in the annual tournament. “We had wished that all our 12 codes could participate but the current six codes are the ones affiliated with COSASSA,” he said.
Jonas said that they have gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that all the athletes return home safely, adding that they have enough official personnel to keep close eye on the team.
According to Jonas, the team included 16 drivers, medical personel and coaches while BOPSSA president Busani Segweni is serving as head of delegation.
Trouble is brewing at the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) ahead of their elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for November this year.
Fresh information reaching BG Sport indicates that the current BISA leadership is now more divided than ever. A litany of allegations coming out of the multi sports code body includes maladministration and unprofessionalism and embezzlement.
Sources close to the matter this week said the BISA family are now fed up with watching things go astray and they are now calling for change. Sources have since revealed names of the Executive Committee who are no longer serving the interests of the association but rather personal gain.
The said officials (names known to BG Sport) are accused of living beyond their means and seen splashing money on lavish cars using proceeds from BISA activities. Reliable sources that prefer anonymity said some individuals in the executive are already under the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) radar.
Meanwhile the committee is said to be misusing funds. “They have failed to account for the 2014-2016 P1.3 000 000 sponsorship from Kgalagadi Breweries Limited who have sponsored development activities. Even today we are failing to get a clear report from them,” a source said this week. Concerned sources further lamented that it was difficult to get through to the BISA leadership. Every time affiliates demand answers there are always dire consequences. These guys are dangerous but clearly our association is rotten,” the source continued.
“BISA is an affiliate of the International School Sport Federation, however a concern was raised that the association is currently not benefiting from the international federation,” a source said.
“We sent an athletics team there to the International federation in 2014 and there was no feed back. Botswana is paying huge subscription fees to the federation and our leadership uses thousands of pula’s when attending Annual general meetings, yet there are no results,” said a concerned party.
On the other hand, BISA president Joshua Gaotlhobogwe was not shaken by the allegations making rounds. “We are going for elections and some people are busy pushing their own agendas by trying to tarnish the existing committee, we are a well administered association,” said the calm and collected Gaotlhobogwe.
Quizzed on whether he was aware of the division within his association resulting from alleged funds misuse, the president maintained that BISA is one solid team. “People are ignorant, we have just submitted our audited files to Price Water House Coopers, we have always shared that the sponsorship from Coca Cola is not monetary,” he explained.
Gaotlhobogwe went on to explain that the Ministry of Education is fully behind them. “If the ministry did not have full confidence on us, it would not continue pouring thousands of pula’s at BISA,” he said.
Meanwhile BG Sport has learnt of an existing lobby lists allegedly led by different influential individuals within the association. One of the parties is against the current BISA Executive while the other is said to be the most unwanted by masses but wants to claim power.