The wait continues as the local sporting fraternity is anxious to learn of the name of the next Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Chairperson. This is after Solomon ‘Solly’ Reikeletseng, the immediate past Chairperson, resigned a fortnight ago. Names of potential candidates have been thrown around, endorsements made but nobody is certain of anything while only one man, the minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama is anticipated to bring the matter to conclusion.
The Ministry has explained that the process of finding a suitable candidate is ongoing and a name will be released soon. Meanwhile, National Sport Associations (NSAs) as the key sports deliverables, have wasted no time but came out to define and propose their ideal candidate. Their hope is that the minister brings forward a name that is well acquainted in terms of sports needs. According to some, the ideal candidate should not be an imitation of Reikeletseng but be their own rolling wheel that will drive forward the mandate of BNSC. When speaking to BG Sport in an interview, the President of Botswana Golf Union Enoch Mushango’s words were sharp as an arrow, “Botswana needs new age thinkers with visionary leadership skills and not those who will come and align themselves with certain sport codes. Blind leaders will not take us anywhere, we need strategic thinkers with a firm backbone to make informed decisions,” he said.
Mushango is of the view that NSAs are a reflection of what is happening at club level, with that, associations should be listened to and allowed to express their opinions. He said it was sad that in some instances they are sidelined during meetings, when they should actually be the ones to determine the agenda of the day. If it were up to Mushango, the NSAs would propose the name while the minister assesses all the recommendations before making his final decision. “If the Minister is really looking for quality, he should know better than appointing someone who is not passionate about sport because NSAs will frustrate him and he will be pushed out in no time,” Mushango said. He added that the minister is spoilt for choice as Botswana has many capable minds.
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Tshepo Bathai noted that the next chairperson should be someone who is a turnaround specialist with great ethics and a good administrator, “The focus area should be on the review of the current policies because they are not working out for sporting codes, all of them need to be improved,” Bathai said. Bathai added that Tshekedi should appoint someone with a vast experience in sports, public and private service and at least having held executive positions in all those. “Corporate and Board experience is vital because the chairperson will be responsible for directing the BNSC board and management but above all, someone who will be loved and supported by most NSAs,” he said.
Thato Patlakwe, the president of Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) wants nothing but that the incoming boss pays close attention to schools and club development. Patlakwe is of the view that more attention needs to be paid to development especially at club level saying challenges encountered at that level hinder development. For him, clubs are what make BoBA but because of the limited resources, they are unable to produce desired results. “We appreciate what BNSC is offering but I really wish they can assist clubs, I mean if there are things such as constituency leagues, I do not believe that it would be impossible to offer clubs financial support,” he said.
Maclean Letshwiti of Botswana Football Association (BFA) said that the commission has been in existence for a very long time and perhaps it was time the objectives were revisited and their relevance checked. He explained that the BNSC needs a mature brain that is not only after the top position but will be passionate about the job. Former Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) President Negroes Kgosietsile added that there is need to offload the human resource structure to enhance capacity. “In my opinion, BNSC can do with less staff compared with federations. In doing such we will address capacity without increasing the wage bill,” he said. Kgosietsile expressed concern that athletes' welfare is also limited to some extent because much attention is given to professional athletes, which he said compromises development.