Botswana’s 100m and 200m sprint sensation, Letsile Tebogo has hailed school sport as instrumental in the development of athletics and pleaded with government for its immediate return.
Himself a product of school sport, Letsile emphasised the need to look out for more talent through the tried and tested government initiative. In the same vein, he called upon investors to embrace athletics and reap benefits that come with it in the long run. He said he would love for school sport to be brought back, reiterating that the five years he spent in secondary school were impactful for his career. He added that the return of school sports will create a wider pool of talent among students. He said school sports contributes a lot to grassroots development due to availability of resources in the schools attended by young children. Therefore, coaches and scouts can spot talent at a tender age and help nurture it.
Regarding investment in sport, he called on corporates to be patient with their investments as one day it will pay off. To this end, he appreciated Orange for having spotted him from an early age and seeing potential in him. “Corporates should invest in sports and wait for their long term benefits. I believe what is needed is that little motivation for things to run accordingly,” he said.
Letsile hailed his coach and mentor, Kebonyemodisa Dose Mosimanyane, describing him as a father figure to him. “Most of the time we are together and he knows if I am not well and what he can do to assist me,’’ said Letsile. Together with Dose they have been driven by the motto: ‘rest at the end, not in the middle’, he said, adding that more work has to go into training and everything will eventually align.
He added that Mosimanyane has played a key role in his life and is grateful that his coach tagged along for so long.
Letsile recently had a successful campaign that saw him winning silver in the 100m before clinching a bronze in the 200m behind Noah Lyles. The 20-year old who hails from Kanye said he will try to maintain his performance at the top level, indicating that after the Olympics he will focus on the world championships.
Despite on-going criticism, government has failed to commit to a date for the return of school sport. This has been further stalled by negotiations with teachers unions over remuneration of teachers in the new arrangement. Government through the then Ministry of Basic Education indefinitely suspended school sport in early 2020 highlighting budgetary constraints as a factor.
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