In an effort to find a way of developing sports further and bring about sustainability, the Botswana National Olympics Committee invited Drs Peter Davis and Stephen Norris of Sports Performance Management (SPM). This is a United States-based company that has been awarded the tender to develop a Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) framework for Botswana.
The two focused on analysing issues pertaining to the identification and development of athletes.
This was done with regard to the social, scientific, technological, environmental, economic and political issues pertaining to the identification, nurturing and preparation for successful competition for the country’s sports persons.
“Sports challenges are the same everywhere, but the environment varies from country to country. We need to develop a suitable model for Botswana,” said Norris.
Norris emphasised grass roots development as the only way for any sporting nation to succeed.
“Children are generally aerobic and can do any sports they choose to do. Their only failure can be not trying at all,” Norris said.
On his part, Davis noted that financial constraints was “a common cry, but my experience has taught that there are a lot of resources within sports. Codes need to work together and share facilities. They need to lobby politicians as a unit as it gives them more power,” said Davis.
Norris encouraged codes to keep track of their athletes to ensure fair analysis of their performance. He said it is imperative that there is a gap analysis. “You should be able to know what your best athletes can do and cannot do. Their shooting, accuracy and error percentages should be scrutinised,” he said.
He challenged the government to view sport development as part of its core responsibilities.
He also challenged other stakeholders to come together and lobby government for A Centre of Excellence Facility.
For his part the BNOC Vice President Major Botsang Tshenyego described local sports as a house that developed cracks before it was occupied. “So we are trying to be scientific, systematic and try to incorporate best practices from around the world,” Tshenyego said.