Ministry of Sports Youth and Culture’s Permanent Secretary Ruth Maphorisa acknowledged good performances by various national teams and attributed their success to BNSC’s hard work.
Maphorisa said this at BNSC Annual General meeting at Palapye over the weekend.
She appealed to BNSC to take the little achievement they have made at international competitions as building blocks with prosperity to sustain athletes to another level. “Having fought so hard to reach these levels of performance should challenge us to double our efforts with nothing but the highest prize in mind. Hosting of various tournaments has not only given credibility to sport in this country but has also proved sport as a vehicle for selling the country. Sports should not just be seen as games but one of the economic sectors that have a potential to contribute towards the economic diversification drive and poverty eradication. It is for this reason that I challenge you to take the sport vision to another level of economic development,” Maphorisa said.
The Permanent Secretary said the development of a comprehensive Sport Act was underway and admitted that it was long overdue. She said she believed the ministry had taken the right approach to involve all the stakeholders. Maphorisa admitted that they have suffered a major set-back in the development of sports stadia which have not been delivered on time and have undoubtedly impacted on the sports programme. She said the improved performance of athletes called for complete package and funding of sport in general.
Botswana Football Association President David Fani expressed concern in the delay of national stadium project. He said the delay affected the association as premier league teams especially in Gaborone are forced to play at Molepolole sports complex. “We could have made a lot of money when the national team was playing AFCON qualifying games locally. UB stadium could not accommodate all supporters and they ended up watching the game on television. The issue of stadium is very complicated because it involves many stakeholders, Ministry of Finance, Infrastructure and Sports and maybe that is the cause of the delay. We were hoping to use the national stadium this season for premier league games, but it is not yet complete. We also wanted to take at least one Zebras game to Francistown but still the stadium is under construction,” he said.
Meanwhile the Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture has appointed new Chairperson Solomon ‘Solly’ Reikeletseng replacing Daniel Tau. Reikeletseng acknowledged that his new post was of high responsibility in Botswana sports and thank the ministry for showing confidence in him. He said this responsibility represents a serious challenge not only for him but for all those involved in the council.