It’s hardly been a month since we published an editorial urging local sportsmen and women to strive towards achieving their own personal goals despite the challenges they face in Botswana’s obviously trying sports industry. Given the recent international recognition which our sports persons continue to receive, it is without doubt that determination, coupled with patience certainly pays off in the end. Despite the challenges faced by almost all local sporting codes, mostly due to lack of funding, the nation’s flag continues to fl y higher.
A few weeks ago Mochudi Center Chiefs attacking trio of Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Phenyo Mongala and Dirang Moloi signed fi ve year deals with Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) CS Don Bosco. These players are not new to the international scene as they were once signed by different teams in South Africa where they honed their ootball skills. Their new deal not only brings them back to the international scene, but shows the dearth of untapped sporting talent Botswana has to offer. The fact that we can now export world class talent leaves us with the obvious question of how do we keep them here so that they too can nurture and inspire a new generation? What
may seem as a Catch 22 situation should become more of an opportunity.
Seeing that the most obvious reason for our stars opting for international teams is money, perhaps the time is now that real money be injected in sports. Amantle Montsho was just last week ranked 2nd best in the Athletics World Rankings. This past weekend Joel Mogorosi was named the Telecom Knock -Out player of the season, a title
that saw him walk away with R200 000 while Mogogi Gabonamong was given his share of R70 000 after his team lost to Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup final The list of stars who continue to make us proud is endless. Surely, if one can walk away with such an amount in a day, who would not want to go out and ply their trade elsewhere? We have been taught to settle for the best and they are certainly doing so.
The purpose of this article was not criticise or de-motivate anyone but to say while we celebrate these victories, heads should ponder and come up with strategies that will see our sports persons or teams being recognised and being paid the kind of money that other sports people are earning in their home countries. Corporate sponsors should see the inherent value in upping the stakes so that they can reap the benefi ts of truly entertaining sports, played by professionals who are paid their worth. The sports
administrators, who deserve a pat on their back, for their nurturing efforts should also strive to better the development of all sporting codes by being innovative and a diligent. Botswana is an incredibly small country and judging by the potential of this growing number of successful sportspeople, there are still plenty more shinning gems to be unearthed.
They persevered and here they are, making names for themselves in other countries. Truth is, our sports needs to be supported by all means available. Let us celebrate them, even when they have not done so well and rallying behind them will give them hope and purpose to dust themselves off and continue with the race. Remember we still have
a national team that needs our support too.