Centres of Excellence neglected

12th February 2018
IN LIMBO: Up and coming athletes are not benefitting from Centres of Excellence Source:The Midweek Sun

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By Isaac Pheko -


Lack of coordination between the Ministry of Youth, Empowerment Sports and Culture (MYESCD), Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and the Ministry of Basic Education (MBE) has led to the dysfunction of Centres of Excellence (CoE). This was revealed this past weekend during the Sports Pitso in Palapye. Presenting on the Centres of Excellence, BAA president Thari Mooketsi said the initiative was good but the problem is implementation. Mooketsi said it was important to invite the Ministry of Education so they could have an input on the matter. Some of the CoE include Goodhope, Mogoditshane and Masunga secondary schools. “Students that have been sent to CoEs can stay up to two years without uniform or training equipment.

I don’t know how monitoring and the budget is done,” Mooketsi said when addressing stakeholders including Sports minister Thapelo Olopeng and BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng. The BAA president said his Association is tasked with facilitating the CoE. “These children are special and they are taken from other places. There have specific dietary requirements as opposed to eating samp like everyone else. As for sports equipment, its either it is not there or in a questionable state,” he said. Mooketsi suggested that the program be halted temporarily while a task force is formed to look into the matter. Mooketsi further inquired whether boys will not be allowed at Good Hope secondary school, which is the CoE for athletics.

“This may disturb our plans. “ Moreover, Mooketsi touched on the Debswana Mining Company sponsored ‘Re ba bona ha’ (RBH) talent identification program. Mooketsi said RBH is a BNSC program but sports associations have limited information on the matter. “The Sports Development Officers (SDO) are the ones that player a bigger role on the program that associations. We are just approached to sign off the program.” In addition, Mooketsi argued that they have limited information regarding the Zebras athletes fund as only BNSC and the Botswana National Olympic Committee are know better. Mooketsi who represented all the affiliates expressed concern over the number of children that are transfer to CoE.

“You will find that out of 10 children that are transferred to Goodhope, only two are able to compete at Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) competitions. Maybe every zone needs CoE so that athletes are well distributed around the country.” In response, the Minister of Sports Thapelo Olopeng said at this point it seemed like they were trying to comply the CoE policy. “We can choose 3-4 people to look into the report and submit it in two months. The committee will look into the MYESCD and MBE issue. I will be able to consult my colleague at MBE,”Olopeng said when suggesting a resolution.




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