BAA ropes in a British Physiotherapist ahead of World Events

  • Obrien to assess and attend to athletes’ injuries
  • Will work alongside BAA physiotherapist Kabo Molefe
  • Will donate some massage and physiotherapy equipment

Gazette Reporter

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has acquired the services of a British massage and injury expert Simon Obrien to work with athletes and the technical team ahead of this year’s international competitive events for an undisclosed period.

Obrien is not new to BAA as he previously worked with the team between 2012 and 2019.

BAA has already started preps to qualify for events such as the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Africa Senior Championships through a local track and field series that they have been hosting across the country since the beginning of the year.

Obrien was roped in to monitor athletes closely and to guard against any knocks and injuries that might arise and hinder the athletes from competing. In an exclusive interview with Gazette Sport recently, BAA vice president administration Oabona Theetso said Obrien’s presence will benefit both athletes and coaches through skills in his area of speciality.

“We are happy to reunite with Obrien to resume our long relationship that we started over 10 years ago and are looking for a more improved and results-based relationship,” Theetso said. “He was part of us at the 2012 London Olympics and assisted the team at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar. Unfortunately, we failed to acquire his services for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics because of the COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions in England.

“During his stay in the country, he will donate some massage and physiotherapy equipment. Importantly, Obrien will assess athletes’ injuries and advice coaches on the type of exercises to use to try and eliminate or reduce chances of injuries and advise those injured about what to do as part of their rehabilitation process.”

Several elite athletes have been battling injuries while some are undergoing recovering. Leungo Scotch, Ditiro Nzamani, Leungo Mathaku and Christine Botlogetswe are among them. Theetso said Obrien will also share his expertise with the local medical team, including their physiotherapist Kabo Molefe who was snubbed by Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite his proven proficiency.

“We are also happy that he will impart and guide our local physiotherapist, Molefe, who has been working tirelessly with our local athletes such as Nzamani and Nkobolo to make sure that they recover. We have a high level of confidence in Simon and we are convinced that our athletes will go to the competitions better and injury-free.”

BAA will be looking to qualify more athletes for the World Championships slated for Oregon, USA in June and the Commonwealth Games billed for Birmingham, England in July respectively.

Meanwhile, Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe and Nijel Amos are set to open their season at the highly anticipated Gaborone International Meet (GIM) in April at the National Stadium.

The meet is expected to attract athletes from across the world, among them such Olympics silver medallist Christine Mboma of Namibia, as they prepare to face the world in Oregon and Birmingham.