Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness (CITW), in association with Diacore Gaborone Marathon, successfully held a Sports in the Wilderness event last week Friday at Tshwaragano Primary School in Old Naledi, Gaborone.
This event marked the culmination of CITW’s Sports in the Wilderness programme, which commenced on 11 February 2019 and was hosted across 15 affiliated Eco-Club schools in Botswana. The programme was funded by Diacore Gaborone Marathon, at a total cost of BWP287 000.
Over one hundred children at Tshwaragano Primary School participated in this final event, having begun preparations and qualifiers in the previous week. The finals included three sporting disciplines, including individual running races of 1 500 m, 800 m, 400 m, 200 m and 100 m, and two team events: soccer and netball.
The Tshwaragano Primary School finals were the biggest in the Sports in the Wilderness series, with the school having in excess of 1 000 enrolled learners. “The Tshwaragano Primary School Sports Day was the final event in this exciting series of impactful events throughout our schools in Botswana. We are proud to have partnered with Diacore Gaborone Marathon on this initiative, which has given us the opportunity to showcase our care for the environment, as well as the importance of physical and mental fitness, and working together as a team.
These are paramount to a culture of health and wellness, and are practices we need to instil from a young age”, commented Wilderness Safaris Botswana Managing Director, Kim Nixon. Tshwaragano Primary School’s Eco-Club was launched in April 2019, and is already the host of approximately 40 learners.
CITW and Diacore Gaborone Marathon’s Sports Day serves as an additional demonstration of Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to investing in youth development. Wilderness Safaris also donated key equipment and infrastructure to the school, including JoJo water tanks and volleyball equipment to support the upcoming introduction of the sport at the school.
Managing Director of Diacore, Kfir Teichman, noted: “What an incredible way to end the CITW sports days! As Diacore, we are delighted to see how well these sports events have been received by both the students and the schools.
There is a clear appetite for more activity and support when it comes to sports education and, indeed environmental practice. Hosting this series of Sports Days ahead of the 2019 Diacore Gaborone Marathon truly cements the importance of investing in youth athletics’ potential,” concluded Nixon. The Diacore Gaborone Marathon will be held at the GICC this Sunday.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”
BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet
Amidst wide spreading fears that Botswana’s top flight league might be canceled and considered null and void because of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has yet to make a determination on the matter and has in fact ruled out scrapping off the season altogether.
Local football observers and pundits alike have already started talking of the possibilities after similar considerations of nullifying their seasons were made in the leagues of other countries especially in Europe. No football activity has taken place in the country since social distancing measures were imposed to avoid the spread of the corona virus.
Local football pundit Fabian Zulu is one of those who believe there is a likelihood the football season will be nullified. “If the current situation persists, then there is a high possibility of declaring the league null and void. This situation wasn’t planned, no one knew that by now we would be facing this kind of situation; so the possibility is very high.
However, in an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the association has not considered canceling and nullifying the season as an option yet, adding that “currently we are observing a period of extreme social distancing, the ministry of health and wellness will obviously give advice on the possibility of getting back to football.”
Consequently the BFA still awaits the Ministry to declare that the risks of spreading the virus are reduced and come up with a contingency plan. “If the ministry says there is a reduced health risk we will play out the season; if they advise against it we will then see what steps to take. The health of our players is more important and we will be guided by the responsive authorities,” Mpatane remarked.
However, suspension or cancellation of the leagues across the world seems inevitable even as some European leagues, more specifically the English Premier League, are now contemplating a behind-closed-doors campaign to finish off the remaining matches.