The money question collapse Netball grand plan
The grand plan by Botswana Netball Association (BONA) and Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) to secure an internationally experienced coach to head national netball ahead of next month’s Africa world cup qualifiers is likely to fail.
Indications are that hiring an international coach remains a distant ambition for the sporting code as financial challenges continue to be a major obstacle. Recently, Weekend Sport has learnt negotiations between BONA and an earmarked Australian coach buckled due to the financial issues.
BONA President, Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego admitted that the collapse of the negotiations with the Australian was because of “financials”. Nonetheless she is hopeful that despite failure to appoint the Australian coach, BONA still has an opportunity to find a coach from Asia and other countries which they have good relations with.
“We are still looking for a coach especially from New Zealand, England and South Africa to lead the team,” the former Notwane player said.
She however conceded that this is likely to hamper their plan as they wished for a coach ahead of the next month’s qualifiers.
“Preparations are very critical and it is necessary to have the coach in the build up to the games so they understand each other and we wanted to have the coach as early as April so that by July everything will be perfect,” Sebego explained.
The envisaged plan was such that the coach would have been handed the team by this month so as to instill her philosophy and also to know her players ahead of the qualifiers before continuing to the world youthful showpiece next year.
While the preparations ahead of next month’s Africa world cup qualifiers are in full swing, an unpleasant picture has been created with the national team seemingly disorganized. At a visit by Weekend Sport to the team camp last weekend, the team was clad in own clothes and not any kit, as per expectation.
“We are still in the selection and thus we have a very big team so it will be costly for us to attire everyone,” Kagisano Mawela who is currently mentoring the team clarified.
Sources say Mawela is likely to be on the dugout in next month’s extravaganza being assisted by another experienced local coach should BONA fail to appoint the ideal coach.
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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon
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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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.”