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BNSC return stadia back to Gov’t

Publishing Date : 03 December, 2018

Author : TapelTAPELA MORAPEDI

Botswana National Sport Council (BNSC) is returning all stadiums under and its care and management back to Government as it is failing to maintain the facilities.


Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) President, Boineelo Hardy revealed on Wednesday at the University of Botswana (UB) when participating in a panel discussion to discuss the proposed ten new Community Mini Stadia that Government plans to construct in 10 villages around the country to promote community recreation and sport development. This was said in the presence of BNSC Board Member, Tsoseletso Magang who was also a panelist interrogating the need for the extra 10 sport facilities. BBA is an affiliate of the BNSC.


Hardy was questioning the wisdom to construct extra stadiums when Government is already failing to maintain the existing facilities to a point where the Sport Commission has now resolved to relinquish management responsibilities for the stadiums. She argued that “until Government realizes and acknowledges that facility management is a profession on its own, management of sport facilities in the country will remain a challenge.”


She advised that Government should consider hiring professionals to manage the facilities so that they can remain in good condition and be self-sustaining financially. She observed that Government is spending a lot of money training top athletes like Nijel Amos in high performance facilities abroad to match and cater for the need and the level of professionalism that the athletes are at. She said Government should upgrade their existing facilities into high performance centres and put in charge people with the necessary skills to manage the facilities.


Tsoseletso Magang noted that the BNSC is having a challenge in managing the facilities because it is expensive, explaining that Government’s subvention has never been enough. She said because of the high cost of maintenance, the Commission had to start the financial year with a huge deficit. This is generally believed to be the reason why the Commission is overcharging its affiliates for utilizing the facilities, the price tag that many sporting codes including football have failed to pay resulting in underutilization of the facilities.


The BNSC Board member has however explained that while the high cost for using the facilities contributes to less utilisation of the stadiums, the problem is largely compounded by the poor quality and below par standards of these facilities. Former Chief Executive Officer at the BNSC, Kitso Kemoeng reiterated that the cost of maintaining the facilities is high and therefore users of the facilities will always be charged some fee no matter who runs the stadiums. “Government should always take care of the maintenance cost of the stadium no matter who manages them,” he said.


The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development however holds a different view. The Director of Sport in the ministry, Moreetsi Bogosi blames BNSC for the failure to properly manage sport facilities. Responding of the deliberations at the panel discussion, Bogosi said the Sport Commission have failed Botswana sport as they have failed to manage the facilities despite having made promises to turn around the stadiums into financially self-sustaining facilities through their Business Development Manager.


BNSC Affiliates at logger heads


Meanwhile, both BNSC and Botswana Basketball Association have acceded that there is bad blood between the Commission’s affiliates, a reality that negatively affect the growth of the sport fraternity in Botswana. The wrangling among sport federations was revealed by Media Personality and News Editor, Kealeboga Dihutso who noted that sport in Botswana has itself to blame for lack of development as they cannot sit at table and unreservedly agree on one firm case that would advance sport because of fighting amongst each other.


Dihutso said sport federations need to iron out their differences so that they can be able to successfully lobby and make their collective voice heard. This was supported by Kemoeng who also acknowledged the existence of sour relations amongst and within sport associations which he said hampers progress. Crudely putting it, he advised to BNSC and affiliates to deal with their “hatred” for each other and put sport first. He said that failure to meet common ground by sport administrators impacts negatively on building a strong case for sport development.

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