Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is planning to build a High Performance Centre on a 5.1 hectares land given to them by Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) in Gaborone.
The association’s president, Moses Bantsi informed delegates at the BAA ordinary general meeting in Tlokweng on Saturday, October 11 that plans for the P300 million project were complete and the association was awaiting issuance of title deed before commencing developments.
Though he did not provide timelines for commencement and completion, the BAA chief said the large scale project which includes facilities such as a stadium, indoor sporting arena, administration offices, athletes accommodation, swimming pool and conference centre, will be funded by private companies.
“We have communicated to BNSC about intention to develop and request necessary documentation like title deed which will make it easy for the association to agree with the developers,” said the BAA chief.
Once complete, Bantsi said the HPC would be an essential source of income generation for the financially hamstrung BAA.
The association’s treasurer, Brian Mosweu said the HPC will provide BAA with a centre for excellence for training and development of athletes and coaches to elevate them to international class standards.
“BAA has in place a highly experience team of professionals on similar projects for the design and implementation monitoring of the project. The team includes an architectural firm as architects and project managers, civil and structural engineering firm, cost, arbitrators, dispute resolution consultants, mechanics/electrical/IT/fire engineering, light consultants, and environmental consultants,” Mosweu explained.
He said the implementation team would be led by project managers whose responsibilities would be to develop the project marketing and branding strategy in association with the BAA branding and marketing agent.
On other issues Bantsi told delegates that lack of trained coaches at schools of excellence for athletics were hindering the development of young athletes. He said the BAA was negotiating with BNSC and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) to employ full time coaches for the school of excellence at Good Hope Senior School.
Presenting the financial report, Mosweu, said the BAA statutory audits were still not up to date. He said the 2011 audits were only completed last year while the 2012 ones would be completed this month. He aid audits took longer than necessary due to delay caused by poor record keeping to verify expenditure.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.