Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC)unveiled a team of 11 junior athletes who are set to represent the country at the upcoming Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games billed for next month.
Speaking at the official unveiling function held at Cresta Lodge last week, Chief Executive Officer of the BNOC Tuelo Serufho revealed that they do not want to put the team under pressure to bring any medals.
“We do not want to put them under unnecessary pressure with medals, we just want them to enjoy competition at a global stage, the questions of medals should come at a later stage when they have matured into world class athletes,” noted Serufho.
The Samoa 2015 Games will be the fifth edition of the competition. The Games bring together 71 commonwealth nations with up to 1000 athletes whose ages range from 14 years to 18 years. With Botswana sending 11 athletes from boxing, athletics and swimming the country can be hopeful of future stars who can become formidable athletes.
Commonwealth Youth Games are for some, like Nijel Amos, the springboard to future Commonwealth Games glory and for many, a formative first taste of international multi-sport competition.
BNOC president Negroes Kgosietsile delivered a strong message of support and caution to the athletes. “Please do not be stars before your time, many athletes have failed because they counted chickens before they hatch, show an attitude of a true athlete on and off the field,” said Kgosietsile.
The Chairman sent out a strong message of warning to the young athletes in regards to the issue of drugs and doping. “We should play fair and avoid drugs or any other enhancing substances that are not allowed in sport because that will come back to haunt you in the long run and destroy your future,” the BNOC leader added.
The team comprises of, among others, 2014 African Youth Games boxing gold medalist Mahommed Otukile, 400 meter runner Karabo Sibanda who has since become a household name in the junior world of athletics.
Despite failing to secure a podium finish at the just ended World Championships held in Colombia, Sibanda will take pride from his sterling run in the final as he recored a career high and national junior record of 46.03. The Games are set to commence on the 5th of September then end on the 11th in the nation’s capital city Apia.