Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has failed to send the national Relay team for the 2019 IAAF World Relays in Yokohama; Japan. The competition started today (11 May) and is set to end on the 12th of May.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Vice President, Kenneth Kikwe told Weekendsport that the team didn’t travel to Japan because Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) could not avail funds for the payment towards VISAs and purchase of flight tickets. Kikwe further stated that they did not get a response from BNSC after inquiring on why the funds were not disbursed despite the Association having submitted the budget for the competition.
“Last week BNSC told us they can’t help us since we need a compliance letter from Registry of Societies and we gave them the 2018 letter that shows that our annual returns were up to date,” he indicated. He said they involved the Ministry of Youth Employment, Sports & Culture Development (MYSEC) and they met Permanent Secretary, Kago Rramokate who intervened and subsequently an agreement was reached between the two concerned party being BAA and BNSC.
Kikwe further indicated that last year IAAF fined them P156 000 for not honoring the competition after they had confirmed attendance. “We approached the Ambassador of Japan to Botswana, Kozo Takeda and he was willing to help us with the VISA applications though it was late; but our situation was compounded by the fact that the BNSC had not processed funds for the purchase of flight tickets.” Kikwe said it was a huge blow for the Athletics and also for the country as the competitions are used as qualifiers for the upcoming Doha World Championships.
Meanwhile, at the previous World Relay competition, which was held at Bahamas, Botswana 4x400m team made a podium finish after winning a silver medal with a time of 3:02.28. The United States of America had finished on position one with 3:02.13 while Jamaica won a bronze medal with a 3:02.86 time. The 4x400m team was made up of Nigel Amos, Loungo Scotch, Onkabetse Nkobolo, Baboloki Thebe, Boitumelo Masilo and lastly Issac Makwala whereas the 4x100m team consists of Thabiso Sekgobi, Karabo Mothibi, Thuto Masasa and Keene Motukisi.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.