NEW HOPE: Youth Olympics team and officials

Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) President, Colonel Botsang Tshenyego, says doping continues to be a thorn in the development of sport.

Botswana has so far registered six cases of athletes banned for taking a prohibited substance in just eight years.

Colonel Tshenyego said this during the welcome ceremony of the youth Olympic team from the recent games held in Argentina, Buenos Aires.

He said scandals surrounding issues of doping tarnish the image and kills the integrity of sport.

“Efforts to educate and eradicate doping amongst our athletes are very imperative and each one of us has a role to play to ensure that our athletes compete clean,” he said.

Regarding the performance the team in Argentina, the president said though they did not win any medal, the team performed well.

He said unlike with the senior team, they don’t set medal targets for the youth team.

Col. Tshenyego said the youth games are meant for development of athletes and to introduce them to international competition.

“The main focus is participation and introduction to the global stage. During the 2014 youth Olympics we sent a team of 8 athletes from athletics, swimming, judo and badminton and this year we managed to send only three athletes from swimming and athletics. A serious introspection on our sport development is critical. Athletes like Naomi Ruele, Karabo Sibanda, Baboloki Thebe and Gavin Mogopa who are now in senior team went to Nanjing,” Tshenyego said.

He said it is important for the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, BNSC and BNOC with other sports structures, to work together to develop a clear development pathway from grassroots to elite level.

The BNOC president said the pathway should provide a feeder system, which will ensure strong representation at the right levels from national, regional, continental and international levels.

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