GU calms disgruntled supporters
Gaborone United sporting club’s leadership helmed by one Rapula Okailwe has embarked on a series of meetings in a bid to douse the raging fires within the Old Naledi based giant, which has been blamed for the team’s poor start to the campaign.
WeekendSport is reliably informed that the current executive committee started to engage in a number of meetings with some stakeholders beginning last weekend through this past week to prevent the brewing trouble from exploding. According to informants, the decision was held primarily to try to solve the issue in which some supporters have said the current committee is “unconstitutional” within the internal structures.
The meetings are said to be efforts to tame the situation and a move to “protect the image of the team.” Information turned to this paper suggests that the current EXCO used some neutral elders within the team to sweet talk the unhappy lot so the matter is resolved amicably. Indications however shows that they have played their cards well as the supporters are no longer entertaining thoughts of dissolving the existing committee.
“They managed to convene some meetings and they are still continuing with the help of the team elders and indications are that they have won,” an insider stated. The team chairman Okailwe also concurred “It’s true we managed to meet with some and we are still meeting with others, but I can’t divulge any information on the way forward because it is still an internal matter.”
Having filed their case with the Registrar of Societies to help them, the two parties are expected to appear before the Registrar of Society on Tuesday in a make or break meeting. “Yes sir we will be meeting with the registrar next week Tuesday,” the tight lipped chairman confirmed. The ring leaders on this matter are reportedly Mr M. Diole who is said to be Chair for Tlokweng supporters’ branch as well as Peggy Keakopa. Efforts to engage the duo on the matter did not materialise.
Information from the GU offices also paints a gloomy picture regarding the future of the team coach, Allen Rahman Gumbo. The team has accumulated only four points from four outings and this has already sent panic within the team, however the issue is treated with an air careful of silence. The coach issue has left one Dragjolio Stanolovich licking his lips as the prospects of the fall of Gumbo presents an opportunity for him to take control of the dressing room.
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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.”