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Botlhale promises to redeem athletics

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  • He has dethroned Mooketsi from the association presidency seat
  • BAA ushers in new committee

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

The new Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president Phaphane Botlhale has promised to take athletics to greater heights and ensure that sport code continues to do well on the international scenes.

Botlhale ascended to the athletics top post after he defeated Thari Mooketsi by nine votes to eight during the association elections held in Gaborone this past weekend. Speaking in an interview with Gazette Sport, Botlhale noted that he is happy to have claimed the athletics presidency as he has always wanted to serve the sport that is close to his heart at a senior post.

“ I think I understand this sport very well, the fact that I am a former athlete and have served as the association’s treasurer before will work to my advantage in ensuring that athletics continues to perform even better internationally. I believe it is our duty as the new committee to take athletics to another level,” he said. “Our athletes have always proved that they are capable by performing well on the international scenes and I think we must also prove our capability as the new committee by serving them well, by so doing we will by extension be serving the nation well,” he said.

He said as the new committee, they have a mammoth task of making athletics more appealing to the corporate sector in making sure that they attract sponsors. “ And in doing that we have to be accountable and bring back positive mentality to athletics because we have been in the papers for wrong reasons of recent something which I believe has been chasing away potential investors. I believe I lead a competent team that will deliver accordingly, “ Botlhale said.

Botlhale who also serves as the leader of Palapye Athletics Club highlighted they also need to improve their relationship with the Botswana Integrated Sports Association and Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association as the duo have been their main feeders for years. “ We cannot ignore what the two are doing for us because they assist us with the development of athletes and coaches, they are really important to athletics and we need to start working close with them,” he said.

Meanwhile Oabona Theetso (Jwaneng Athletics Club) has been elected as the BAA vice president administration, Raymond Phale (Francistown Athletics Club) claimed the association’s vice president finance post whereas the country’s only certified IAAF professional timer Tshepo Kelaotswe (Sports View Runners Club) is the vice president technical. Eric Mandawu, Keamogetswe Rancholo, Amogelang Masugae and Mpho Bagwasi were elected as the new regional coordinators. The committee will serve athletics for the next four years and with their term billed to elapse on 2023.

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