The head of Botswana Squash Association (BSA) wonders how other countries are doing well in sports and lists a raft of issues as debilitating factors in Botswana
Botswana Squash Association is facing an uphill task of restoring the league after it crumbled during the indefinite shutdown of sporting activities in 2020 owing to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The president of the association, Tiego Rabasha, told Gazette Sport this week that league competitions have failed to take off since the restart of sporting activities last year and that club associates are struggling to put together the necessary resources to participate.
No quorum, no AGM
Rabasha emphasised that clubs ought to function in order to ensure the functionality of the organisation. “If you do not have clubs coming to the annual general meeting (AGM), you cannot have an AGM because you don’t form a quorum,” he said.
Rabasha stated that clubs are becoming dysfunctional because volunteers now want to be paid.
“There is a serious issue now with school sports because teachers want to be paid for the time they spend in school sports,” he said. “We all know the massive role played by schools in developing and feeding different sporting codes with talent.”
He noted that the inactivity of clubs has also made it difficult for the association to prepare national teams owing to the fact that clubs are now unable to produce athletes. “For me to have national team players, clubs have to produce players for us to select the cream of the crop,” Rabasha pointed out.
He stated that there is need to re-look whether Botswana sports still needs to be run through associations or an alternative model should be considered.
“If you do not have clubs, you do not have an association and it is high time we look at how countries such as India have made cricket run in their country and how Australia and South Africa have made rugby to run efficiently in their own countries,” said Rabasha.
Lack of finances
He identified lack of finance as another issue that has led to the dysfunctionality of clubs in the country is. “After the advent of COVID-19, the government had to redirect funds to fight the disease and sports was the biggest causality,” he noted.
Rabasha emphasised that sports in Botswana does not have enough capacity and that there are no coaches at the right levels. “People coach because they have played the sport, but it should be noted that having played a certain code does not mean I am a coach,” he said.
Even so, he added, despite all challenges they are looking at the issues and have already requested for a meeting with the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).
“We are trying to reset because a lot of things got messed up at the start of COVID-19 and some people have their own priorities, “ Rabasha said. “We have a lot on our plate currently because our intention is to revive the code and see more talent come in.”