Programme to give children equal opportunity in sport
BISA hopeful challenges in school sport will be resolved
‘Children are not getting enough training to properly nurture their sport skills as a result of the school sport setup’ -BOPSA
Botswana Football Association (BFA), is excited at the future of school sport development following the donation of 10million USD made by Dr. Patrice Motsepe during his visit to Cote d’Ivoire last Tuesday to the FIFA-CAF Pan-African School Football Championship. Expected beneficiaries of the objectives of the programme in Botswana are schools, regional football, Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) and national teams.
According to BFA Chief Executive Officer, Goaba Taylor, the programme will create an opportunity for young players to play irrespective of socio-economic background, race and gender. “The programme will build strong competitive youth teams in regions and enhance the standards and quality of Youth National teams in Botswana,” she said. Taylor also added that the programme will help in capacity building for school coaches and that organizing tournaments will be easy.
Furthermore, the school football programme will provide a clear developmental structure for emerging talent. “School football is the best way to bridge the gap of youth development within our structures. Grassroots and youth football development is not embedded in a strong club structure making schools the ultimate environment for organizing football,” Taylor added. Moreover, Taylor highlighted that like any other sports, school football provides many health benefits for children by nature of being a demanding game. “It provides an opportunity for players to improve different motor skills as hand/eye coordination, agility, speed, strength and overall cardiovascular endurance and also teaches different life values like, cooperation, discipline, accountability and team,” she mentioned.
BISA Vice President Technical, Joy Kenosi said donations are highly welcome and that there is hope to address some of the emerging challenges in their organization with regards to child sport. “As an organization that deals with child development, we are thrilled for the donation as we experience challenges with resources,” he said. He further described cases of extreme misfortune where some children cannot afford to get training kits for themselves and they as an organization fail to rescue the situation due to financial limitations. “We want children to earn a living out of sport hence why we are dedicated towards nurturing them at grassroot level with the hope that they can perfect their skills and even compete on an international level,”Kenosi added.
Botswana Primary School Sport Association (BOPSA) vice President Technical, Selebatso Keabetswe said they are not yet clearly versed on how the programme will be carried out in Botswana however, he is hopeful that the problems within primary schools will be addressed accordingly.
“The way we want things to be done is not how they are being done mainly because of how school sport is carried out in schools,” he said. He further explained that this is fueled by the fact that children are not getting enough training to properly nurture their sport skills as a result of the school sport setup. “Children will train for the first month of the term, proceed to participate in sporting activities in the second month and if they do not qualify for regional, zonal or bigger competitions thereof, they stop training and will only resume the following year,” Keabetswe explained.