- Local mother sporting bodies concerned by athletes’ expenditure
Series of talks between the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) to establish an athlete’s pensions system that would sustain athletes upon their retirement from sport are still in place, this publication has learned.
Late last year, Chief Executive Officers of the two mother sporting bodies in Falcon Sedimo and Tuelo Serufho disclosed their pension fund plan during a panel discussion held by University of Botswana. With their idea being to establish a system for athletes which will see both parties withholding a certain percentage of what athletes earn as prize monies during the span of their careers, to create a pensions fund for them.
Quizzed on their progression in the matter, BNSC CEO Sedimo revealed that they are still working on their plot to ensure that it is more robust upon completion. “I must say that the issue of pension is a personal choice, as a matter of fact you cannot force anyone to do it,” he said. “But we are still working on the idea in liaising with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development as there is an incentives draft submitted to them- we are awaiting its outcome as it can give us an idea of how to work about on the athletes’ pensions’ fund.”
Sedimo moreover noted that beyond the pensions fund idea, they have mentorship programs for athletes which enlighten on investment. “And we take individuals from the banking sector to educate them in the need to invest, I must say that it’s a not an easy thing that is why we believe that if we can tie down the pensions fund issue all will be well,” he said.
He said as the local mother sporting bodies they are concerned with some athlete’s high expenditure, “and I sometimes pardon them because they at times make a lot of money when they are still young. When they are still immature and don’t know the difference between good or bad make good hence end up spending money irresponsibly,” Sedimo noted.
The BNSC CEO highlighted that they will never give up on educating athletes in the need to use money wisely as they understand that sports career can at times be cut short by an injury and it’s also dependent on form. “That is why they ought to be aware of other possibilities out there, our wish is just to have an arrangement that can enable them to have a better future, we know it’s not going to be easy but we intend to keep on working on them,” he said.