Frustrated Glody may dump BAA
BAA Vice President administration, Glody Dube
The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Vice President administration, Glody Dube is said to be a frustrated man who might relinquish his duties anytime as sabotage and internal bickering continue to engulf the Moses Bantsi led association.
The maverick Dube, who was once suspended by BAA for publicly lambasting the Association for failing to provide the athletes with enough kits at the 2011 Africa Junior Championships hosted in Gaborone, is reportedly walking a tight rope and also “discouraged under the current administration”. In fact, the connection between him and his committee members is said to have reached the lowest ebb according to informants.
While it is said the relationship has not been as rosy, mind games by BAA superiors to ensure that Dube’s annual Sports View International Meet is not staged this year was the last straw to break the camel’s back.
“The issue is they made it difficult for him to host the event this year, they required unnecessary technical write ups and race planning of which they never ask for,” a source said.
“To be honest, egos reign supreme. The issue is money, the executive is concerned that the national race does not have a sponsor while his (event) met promises to attract lucrative sponsors this year, so they want at least those monies to be channelled to the national event,” an impeccable informant told Weekendsport on Monday afternoon.
This year’s event was expected to be one to remember with a number of household companies promising to support the event with at least P100, 000. Some including lodges promised to offer international participant accommodation and meals, according to sources. With this prospect, Dube was waging his tail in anticipation of hosting a huge event.
“This didn’t go down well with him hence his considering resignation because it appears that being a member of the committee maybe will hobble his ambition,” noted a source.
The event could have been held last month. Last year, athletes like Baboloki Thebe used the event to climb up the fame ladder as he trounced one of Botswana’s fastest sprinter, Isaac Makwala more than once and the expectation was other athletes would use the same platform to pursue their ambition to qualify for the Olympics in August.
“There is no how we can sabotage him, we take the event so highly and it would help our athletes to qualify for the Olympics. Maybe he (Dube) can explain why the event was not hosted. Those reports of sabotage are unfounded,” Roland Masalila the Association’s Communication Manager dismissed the reports.
On the contrary, Dube holds a different view.
“We are still sorting ourselves out with BAA,” he said.
The diplomatic Matshelagabedi born Dube continued to say, “BAA wanted some aspects for race planning and we had to freeze this year’s edition and plan for next year.”
Dube however believes that if he resigned from the athletics office and focus on his event, things would be better.
“I need to move on and focus my energy on the event to make it a success,” he could only say.
However despite this confusion, it appears the former Olympic finalist Dube is willing to smoke the peace pipe with his superiors. The two are set to meet and solve their variances as BAA is reportedly not ready to lose one of their prized assets in Dube who has been with athletics for a long time. He too is ready to reverse his thinking provided the leadership tables “convincing reasons” for him to continue in the athletics office.
“We are still in negotiations,” Dube said.
The negotiations are expected to drag for long as part of the executive committee is busy with the Africa Senior Championships rehearsals in Durban.
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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
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.”
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
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.”