The assistant minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture Buti Billy has used the welcome ceremony of the AUSC region 5 team in Gaborone on Monday to announce that the much-awaited return of sports in schools will finally started in 2023.
In early 2020 the then ministry of basic education announced that it has suspended competitive sport in school considering that year due to unsustainable costs.
Consequently, different bodies including Botswana Primary School Sports Association (BOPSSA) and Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) have been advocating for the return of sports in schools for its role in developing talent at the grass root level.
On Monday Billy acknowledged that generally, different stakeholders are worried that it has taken time for the initial decision to be reversed.
He said that the ministry is aware that the absence of sports within schools has negatively affected the results of team Botswana in various competitions.
“We are going back to the drawing board, we will return the school sports and out of school sports in 2023 because those out of the school also form part of our programs,” said Billy.
Meanwhile, the assistant minister applauded team Botswana for delivering good results at the AUSC region 5 games despite challenges they faced. He said that participating at the games gave the team exposure and experience hoping that in the next coming competition they will do even much better.
For his part, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Director Sport Development-Technical, Peaceful Seleka said that their participation at the games was a continuation of a build up towards major games like the Africa games that will be held in Accra, Ghana in 2023 and the 2024 Paris Olympic games.
“I am proud to announce that team Botswana obtained a total of 47 medals silver,12 gold, 22 silver and 13 bronze medals. Overall, the team took position five out of 10 Sothern African countries that were participating in the competition,” said Seleka.
However, Seleka said the performance of the team showed a significant decline as compared to the 2021 AUSC games that were held in Maseru, Lesotho mainly because the team had a slighter representation in Lilongwe.
“We have however defended and even improved in some events that Botswana is well known for such as the 400 m races for both boys and girls, it is also worth noting that the volleyball ladies team remained champions and the boxing team has won four medals,” he said.
He regretted that most of their athletes are school going and during the preparations they had to juggle between practice and their studies and some of them were sitting for their end of year examinations.