Kgosimore for BAA CEO post
Long time Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) acting CEO, Thato Kgosimore, who was recently relieved of his duties at the Commission is expected to become the first ever Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) beginning of next month, WeekendSport has learnt.
Although there are numerous other names linked to the plum post, Kgosimore remains the front runner tipped to spearhead athletics to greater heights, sources say. In fact, the sources further say his offer letter has already been signed and stamped by the Commission’s top brass.
The association’s CEO post comes at the right time. Sport commercialisation in the country is taking course, and some of the country’s athletes are doing very well on the international stage. The post has been specially created as an endeavour to commercialise the association by sport leaders.
Currently BAA has only one national championship that is sponsored by Senn Foods, thanks to the association VP Glody Dube who through his Kayelihle guest house also sponsored another national meet this year. As CEO for the association, it is expected that Kgosimore will use his expertise to cajole the business community into the ‘ailing’ association.
However, the salary for the new plum post will be footed by the BNSC since BAA’s coffers are dried up at the moment. According to close sources, the sports Commission, which is the one that orchestrated the idea will be paying the salary until the BAA’s budget is approved next year (2016) April.
“Because they have aligned their budget to that of the government, the association is expected to start paying their employee after their budget is given the thumbs up by the BNSC next year,” a source close to the developments told WeekendSport.
Kgosimore has served the sports fraternity for a long time; he served at the BNSC as a Business Development Director before he was elevated to the CEO post on interim basis last year. It is believed he could be the panacea for the association. He is no stranger to sports too; he has played lawn tennis for the country, being a prominent in the sport for some 20 years.
“We are looking for someone who is abreast with athletics issues locally and again who can bring money to BAA,” Dube, the association VP was quoted saying.
Again it is said BNSC opts for him because “they wanted someone who they know and who won’t demand much in terms of ‘unnecessary’ allowances and there is much faith in him that he is the better man for the job because of his initial portfolio at the commission.”
According to the proponents of the idea which among others is said to be Minister of Sports, Thapelo Olopeng, companies should pour money into the association so that the athletes’ welfare among others will be well catered for.
Although the President of the association, Moses Bantsi couldn’t be drawn into discussing who would be the new CEO, he said the association was in dire need of a CEO. “In principle we need a CEO and among others he should deal with development and obviously issues of High Performance Centres,” Bantsi said.
He further added “on top of that we want someone who can communicate with the public and market the association.”
The association has in the past lamented the mushrooming of marathons which they view as a money generating gimmick by organisers. It is expected that upon assuming office, he will address this issue among others, as well as drive the much touted sports city, which has yet to be developed because of finances.
Efforts to get hold of BNSC Chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng proved futile as his mobile phone rang unanswered at the time of going to press.
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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.”
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