The Minister of Sport, Tumiso Rakgare this week announced revised incentives for national athletes.In 2012, the Ministry of Youth and Sport worked with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to come up with a budget for incentive packages to motivate national team players.
The development of the policy was a crucial step towards establishing a long-term framework for rewarding athletes in various sports codes. It allows the BNSC to provide various incentives to different players. Despite being one of the few countries in the continent that provides incentives and rewards to its athletes, Botswana is proud of her achievements in international sports.
However, over the years, the value of the incentives provided by the government has been decreasing. This is according to Minister Rakgare. For the last two years, he noted that the BNSC has been involved in reviewing the various incentives offered to the national team.
According to the Minister, the BNSC has decided to increase the amounts that it gives to athletes and teams, while also scrapping some of the incentives that were not sustainable. He noted that the new policy now provides for gender parity, which means that male and female athletes will be rewarded the same amount based on their performance in the same competitions.
For instance, a national team athlete who breaks a games record will receive P75 000, which is a 150 percent increase from the P30 000 that was given to them under the old incentive instrument. Another important change in the new policy is the requirement that athletes who win a medal at the Olympics be rewarded with a house. This will be done through a process that involves consultation with the government.
Rakgare noted that the houses that were given to the country’s Olympic medalists last year were chosen according to their individual needs. The BNSC also increased the rewards and incentives for coaches and other support personnel. They were fully acknowledged for their role in the success of the national team.
According to Rakgare, the main reason why coaches and athletes are not the same is that international best practice demands that they be rewarded more. He also noted that most athletes do not go beyond 40 years old.
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.