Parents have been challenged to support kids in their sports endeavours during the absence of school sports. These sentiments were shared by the BotswanaNational Olympic Committee (BNOC president Col. Botsang Tshenyego when officiating at the Team Botswana welcome ceremony in Gaborone earlier this week. Team Botswana recently competed at the just ended 10th Edition of the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games held in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Team Botswana, comprising of Athletics, Athletics VI, Boxing, Tennis, Swimming, Volleyball, Football, and Netball finished the tournament in position five (5) behind 1st placed South Africa, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Held under the theme ‘Igniting the African Dream’, the tournament took place from the 2nd – 12th December 2022. Botswana won 12 Gold medals, 22 Silver, and 13 bronze, making a total of 47 medals.

When addressing audience members, Col. Tshenyego said: “At a time when there is officially no school sport, the parents become indispensable. A Parent is the first coach for an athlete. They introduce everything and for many they continue through the professional journey of an athlete.” Col. Tshenyego continued: “Rea le leboga batsadi. While we await with bated breath for the commencement of school sport., we will be banking on parents and communities to sustain sport.

Only time will reveal the full implications of such a crisis and we hope that a solution is found sooner than later.” Col. Tshenyego said in the past couple of years, the global sport movement has shown great strengths to include staging Olympic Games in the middle of a pandemic.

Speaking during the same occasion, the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture (MYSC), Honest Buti Billy, expressed

excitement that the team brought home medals and congratulated them for a job well done. He further reiterated the significance of Sports to Batswana and how it can benefit the society. The Minister also reassured that in 2023, schools sport and out of school sports will return.

Billy further thanked the parents for their contribution and grooming the young athletes. In addressing the young athletes, the Minister strongly encouraged them to stay away from drugs and focus on sport.

For his part, the Director. Sport Development-Technical, Peaceful Seleka returned the Flag on behalf of Chef De Mission (CDM), Shadrack Kapeko. Due to flight delays in Lilongwe, Malawi, the CDM Kapeko could not make it to the Welcome Ceremony.

Other dignitaries were the Permanent Secretary, Kitso Kagiso Kemoeng (MYSC), Director of Sports and Recreation, Moreetsi Bogosi, and Godfrey Gare, BNSC Board Member (MYSC). The list of sports officials included BNSC Vice-Chairperson, Tebogo LebotseSebego, BNOC Senior Vice President, Tshepo Sitale, National Sports Associations leaders and members of the press.