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BAA threatens to cancel Phikwe Marathon

With a week left to race day, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) threatened to either cancel this year’s instalment of the Orange Phikwe National Marathon or strip it of their accreditation and make it a fun run following a feedback “communications breakdown” from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the marathon.

Although denying ever threatening the LOC with a possible cancellation or taking away accreditation of the race at the eleventh hour, BAA’s Vice President Technical, Kenneth Kikwe told Weekend Sport that “ it is not only Phikwe Marathon than the we have threatened not to accredit but a number of marathons which our technical specifications are not met.”

When asked which technical specifications the marathon committee has not met and to give specific reasons that necessitated the threat, Kikwe said that the association has never threatened to cancel the race’s accreditation. “There was no threat of cancelling accreditation,” he said. However, BAA Vice President says that there was a breakdown in communication in terms of giving feedback regarding the preparations.

He says that the LOC wanted a postponement of the race but BAA advised that the race should go on as planned due to its large following, an advice that the LOC took heed to and proceeded with the preparations for the race but did not notify BAA that they have heeded to their advice. This is what enraged BAA which wrote to the LOC informing the committee that they (BAA) will be meeting to decide the fate of the marathon, either to cancel the race or make it a fun -run by taking away its accreditation.

Weekend Sport has seen a communication from Kikwe to LOC chairperson where he noted that because they have not received correspondence about the marathon, this may lead to the suspension of the event, taking away accreditation from the event and making it a fun run or demoting the race from National Marathon status to just another marathon.

Another communication from Kikwe to LOC that Weekend Sport has seen reads, “don’t be surprised when the week starts and things are not in the right direction.” BAA however owns Phikwe National Marathon to which it appoints an LOC to prepare for the race on their behalf. On this LOC also sits BAA preventative whom Kikwe has defended as not responsible for giving BAA feedback as he is appointed to the LOC for technical advisory and not as administration.

Even though BAA says they own the marathon, the association charges a fee for all technical services rendered by them to Phikwe National Marathon and the fee is paid by the LOC. BAA does not have a budget for the race they own, the LOC request funds from various sources on behalf of BAA and pay BAA what Kikwe defended as not payment but an allowance which is standard practice.

“Yes we own Phikwe Marathon as our National Marathon…just like referees at football, our technical officials are paid in the form of allowance whey officiate at Phikwe just like at any other athletics events like marathons and track and field events,” said Kikwe. BAA’s calendar of events record the association as the organisers of the Orange Phikwe National Marathon not the LOC.

The current LOC is in their final year and Kikwe has noted in one of the communications to the LOC that several additions to the committee has been made without their involvement. Nevertheless, BAA “will let this year’s marathon pass and have a meeting to prepare for next year.” The Vice President has said as the association, they are looking at a way forward to see how best to service their marathon.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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