With the destructive impact of the Covid19 protocols that have rendered sport comatose entering the second year, STAFF WRITER VICTORIA MARUMO tests the pulse by engaging Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Sports Development Director Bobby Gaseitsiwe to gauge the situation, particularly as it affects female athletes.
Q: In general, how is the sports community coping amid restrictions on sporting activities since the advent of Covid-19 in Botswana?
Gaseitsiwe: Sport has been affected like any sector of the economy. Life of athletes has come to a complete stop. It has been tough for the Sporting community to practice a passion they love most.
Q: What about Botswana’s position’s and schedule in various sporting codes competitions?
Gaseitsiwe: Botswana sport has been currently been suspended under the SOE. We are thankful that before that there were some activities but due to the increase in Covid 19 cases a review was done and we are suspended but happy that National teams are still allowed to train and compete.
Q: How has this affected women participation in sports?
Gaseitsiwe: Women have been affected the same as their male counterpart.
Q: What are some of the challenges affecting women in sports?
Gaseitsewe: We have seen tremendous growth in Women participation at International level. Women are even more especially at Junior level like AUSC Region 5 Games. We are happy also that even in the Tokyo Olympics, women athletes have qualified and it our hope that more will qualify. Also in the history of Boxing, we have a women Boxer who qualified for the Olympics. This shows that Women are doing well in Botswana. The Women Senior Football continues to do well in the Region. As far as I am concerned I do not see any challenges that women find themselves in participating in sport in Botswana.
Q: What are organizations like WASBO doing at the moment to keep the sports spirit high?
Gaseitsewe: WASBO as a sub structure of BNSC is mandated that the girl child is protected and that their potential is recognized. All I can say is that the structure is doing a wonderful job in working hand in hand with National Sport association in assuring women participation. They are also represented at a high level at the BNSC Board
Q: Is the government doing enough to support women in sport? What are some of the current recognizeable efforts?
Gaseitsewe: Government through the Botswana National Sport Commission continues to support sport at all levels and we continue to be represented at high level in Administration and at Technical level. We have the likes of Boikhutso Mudungo, Tshepiso Lopang, Sabure (CHESS); Amantle Montsho, Christine Botlogetse, Galefele Moroko (Athletics);Sedilega Bosija, Bonang Otlhagile (Football); Magdeline (Weighlfting); Karabo Kula (Taekwando); Keamogetse Kenosi, Aratwa Kesemang (Boxing); Naomi Ruele (Swimming). These are some of the few but many continue to make this country proud internationally.