The just ended African Senior championships held in Durban, South Africa from 22-26 June proved to be a success for few athletes. Team Botswana competed in various track and field events and obtained five medals, despite the success logistical issues are still haunting the Botswana Athletics Association in the build up to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Speaking to this publication, the BAA Public Relations Officer Ronald Masalila stated that hopes of having more athletics representatives for the Olympic team do not look good as this competition had the potential to recruit more athletes. “Time is not on our side as we are approaching the closing date scheduled for qualification on July 11th,” he said.
He mentioned that they have lined up weekly track and field events in their local calendar and that there are invites from regional countries for the athletes to try to up their game.
Gazette Sport interviewed one athlete who requested anonymity to protect his identity told this publication, that everything was a mess and we did not have a kit sponsor to begin with, the team that was left behind while the other team was camping in Maun performed badly.
“I am not really surprised with the results, BAA failed. The fact that we did not camp with our team mates was its own recipe for disaster,” he said. In reflection of what was published by Gazette Sport few weeks ago, we carried out an investigation on the preparations for the African Senior Championships and found out that other athletes who participated were left out in the dark while other team members (the BNOC team) are in Maun camping for the championships.
When reached for comment about what happened to the kit sponsor, Masalila said they came to an agreement with Nike on the eleventh hour, and it was already too late for Nike to prepare the attire.
His closing remarks was that BAA have signed a 5 year contract with Nike to become the official sponsor and will not disclose the terms and condition of the contract. The new kit will be launched very soon and will be ready for the World Junior championships scheduled to be held in July.