- Targets 5 medals by 2028
- Affiliates say it is unrealistic
- Want BNSC to avail resources
The Botswana National Sports Commission’s (BNSC) grand plan of attaining at least five medals at the 2028 Olympics could be a pie in the sky if the commission does not improve a number of weaknesses currently emaciating local sports.
BNSC which is on a crusade preaching the Vision 2028, which is essentially focused on bringing home the medals, is said be falling short in its efforts to ensure the dream materializes. The mother body is going around various national federations instilling the strategy and pleading with its affiliates to ensure that come 2028, the plan is fulfilled. The 2028 strategy is a 16-year plan that commenced in 2013. To ensure smooth implementation of the strategy, the commission divided it into four-year plans, running until 2028.
The plan is anchored on the developmental programs that the commission is running such as Centers of Sports Excellence, the Elite Scholarship Programme, and Debswana Re Ba Bona Ha Sport Development Programme.
However, the mother body and its subordinates are not speaking he same language. For Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) which oversees one of the elite codes, BNSC would have to triple its efforts if the medal dream is to be attained. “We need a full time national team coach, we need enough money to implement some of our programs, especially upgrading of coaches and developing a pool of pugilists,” a source who attended a recent BNSC strategic meeting, said.
What makes matters worse is the fact that, even up to now associations are still broke as the commission is yet to disburse their annual grants. “So tell me how we are going to craft quality boxers who can ensure that the target is met? This is just a dream and we are still far off.” At the meeting, BoBA agreed to the target and assured BNSC that they will bring one gold medal by the year. It was just lip service after all, members of the boxing family feel.
Athletics, another sporting code which surely is the anchor association for this nation going to the Olympics, Athletics Association is also amused at the suggestion that they can bring medals from the Olympics. Just like their boxing counterparts, athletics top brass want BNSC to improve a number of issues.
“We have a number of Centers of Excellence but there are no coaches there; how do you expect us to perform while there are no coaches?” a source from the association asked rhetorically. “We have pleaded with the commission to engage the relevant ministries to transfer qualified coaches to those centers but that was all in vain. Those athletes need serious mentoring if we are to bring the desired results,” added a source from BAA offices.
Karate which will be competing for the first time at the Olympics in 2020, is not under pressure as the sporting code was never part of Vision 2028 initially.
Botswana has taken part in eight Summer Games, the first appearance having been the 1980 Olympic Games, in Moscow. Botswana won her first ever Olympic medal at the 2012 London Games where Nijel Amos attained silver in a historic 800m final.
Reached for comment of the matter, BNSC CEO Falcon Sedimo said with a sharp retort; “My comment on that matter is simple; if there is any code that has any grievances, they must come to us as BNSC so that we can map and plot a way forward; this is no use of solving this through the media.”