• No camp for athletes, Olympics given priority
• Some athletes do not have gym access
The 20th African Senior Championships scheduled to be held on the 22-26 June in Durban, South Africa are only a week away with Botswana expecting to produce over 30 participants in various track and field events. However, it has come to Gazette Sport’s attention that some athletes who are participating in the upcoming tournament are not monitored at all, hence raising concerns on athletes’ fitness and well being to compete in a big continental competition.
Athletes who are currently left do not have any access to the Botswana National Sports Commission gym hence they do their training at UB stadium. When names where announced to the general public no formal communication was made as some athletes had no idea that they will be called to represent the country at the championships. Even after names were revealed some athletes are still in the dark on the logistics of the upcoming event.
“Athletes selected for the African Championships are on their own and nobody knows if they are training or not and some athletes are as far as Maun and the camp that is currently ongoing is for the Olympic athletes not African Senior Championships, ” a close source revealed.
In an exclusive interview with Gazette Sport, other athletes who will be partaking in this championships expressed their disappointments after they were left out in the dark while other team members are in Maun camping for the championships.
“When we are in the international arena we represent team Botswana, it came as a surprise that only 12 athletes of BNOC out of 30 plus athletes are the only ones who will be on camp given priority. This is unfair, it will reflect badly on us because if we are not being part of the camp we might produce poor results,” said one team member who requested anonymity.
When reached for comment, coach Justice Dipeba indicated that they are currently on camp with some athletes who will be participating in the Championships and they are training in Maun where temperatures are slightly higher to build up the speed of athletes and avoiding injuries when training at lower temperatures.
In an interview with Gazette Sport, Botswana Athletics Association PRO Roland Masalila stated that the preparations are ongoing as they have an unwritten agreement with Nike to sponsor attire (kit) which they are still negotiating but if negotiations fail they will revert back to BNSC to opt for plan B. He confirmed that the team manager is Legojane Kebaitse, and that other logistics such as transportation and hospitality are taken care of.
In his closing remarks, he said some team members who form team Botswana at the championships are currently on camp at Maun with Dipeba and Glody Dube.