BAA to discipline athletes

06th April 2018
CRACKING THE WHIP: Mooketsi is addressing indiscipline Source:The Midweek Sun

The president of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Mooketsi Thari believes indiscipline has been rearing its ugly head at his organisation and the matter needs to be dealt with urgently. So bad is the situation that Thari expects the BBA to enforce a strict code of conduct before the end of the year. In an interview with Sun Sports this week, Thari said BAA is busy formulating laws and regulations that will hopefully put his house back in order. The laws he said, will be a guide for both athletes and administrators.

However, the fiery BAA president was at pains to reveal the names of local athletes that are believed to have been difficult to deal with. Of late, there have been allegations of doping within the BAA. Other well-known athletes have been accused of eluding doping officers. The BBA President who has expressed grave concern over the matter said there is need to act swiftly before the name of the thriving sport code is tarnished. Recently, unconfirmed reports coming out of BAA are that some athletes are proving hard to deal with.

The athletes were reported to be turning rebellious and often neglecting instructions from BAA officials. “A professional athlete is a difficult person to deal with because they interact with many people daily who sometimes mislead them. They interact with many athletes who share their experiences and how they deal with their own managers,” Thari explained. In addition, Thari said it is those misleading advices that often make athletes behave as if they are bigger than the Association or worse, even bigger than the country. According to him, a contributing factor to the matter might be that locally, athletes are expected to race in just about any competition and this often frustrates elite athletes. “When we speak about development it means we should have categorised events and know which ones would benefit our elite athletes in the long run.” Thari said there is serious need for them to weigh all competitions and also reach an agreement with athletes to ensure that even when they accept invites from abroad, they will be representing the country well and not only themselves.

Still on that, Thari said it is an open secret that Botswana is doing well as far as athletics is concerned. He is a proud president in that there appears to be a bright future for most developing athletes adding that it pleases him to witness young local athletes clocking impressive times. Thari singled out the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) and gave them a pat on the shoulder for producing grassroot talent: “They are doing well unearthing talent around the country and we will continue to support them,” he said. The aim he said, is to increase the number of coaches locally, however the biggest challenge remains the lack of sponsorship. He further expressed concerned over the fact that other track and field events still remain a challenge in Botswana. Thari said the BAA needs to pay full attention to this in order to go forward.

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