The Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Hon. Tumiso Rakgare has criticized the acts of indiscipline within athletes and officials who have been displaying bad and non sportsmanship behavior in the year 2022. He was speaking at the recent Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) victory ceremony that was held in Gaborone on Monday afternoon.
The ultimate goal of the event was to celebrate BAA athletes achievements and outstanding performance in the year 2022 in both continental and international events such as Africa Championships, World Junior and Senior Championships and the Commonwealth Games. Even though the team did well there were number of indiscipline cases that marred and tarnished the good name of the association. There were incidents were some athletes took it to social media, criticizing the sports leadership on quite number of issues such as poor athletes welfare, and lack of support from the top.
Rakgare said he was dissapointed that there are also officials who are our of order and the association leadership had not made attempts to take action. ”Such acts are bringing sport into disrepute and turns sponsors away and your inaction suggests you are condoning the behaviour. At this rate you are forcing us to now intervene and risk being accused of interfering with the affairs of the sport of athletics in Botswana. I know this event was meant to be celebrations , but we could be deceiving ourselves if we only spoke about success and not touch on some of the issues affecting our sport,” he said.
He further expressed his concerns on the regressing performance of the junior team as compared to the previous ones and also cited his worry on the growing number of doping cases in athletics. “I have a serious concern that we seem to be regressing in performance especially at the World Junior Championships where i had expected a better performance as compared to last year. Then again we had unprecedented number of doping cases. We have never had more than one case in a year from athletics but this year we had two already. what is it are we not doing right to achieve our target of zero adverse analytical findings by our athletes. Are we doing enough education as well as intelligence gathering – whatever the case the situation can not be left to go unabated,” added Rakgare.
For their part athletes also pleaded with the sport leadership to improve their welfare and also shorten the turn around period of incentives payment as it will contribute much in their progress as athletes aiming to reach greater heights.
We have not received our allowances and incentives and its be months now and this is crippling our progress on and off the field. we are pleading with the leadership to always speed up the process in that regard. I must say we have heard the minister’s concerns and will also reflect on our behavior and improve for the better,” said Tsaone Sebele who was speaking on behalf of athletes.