BNSC to implement new funding model

Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) is set to reinvent its approach to funding thanks to the devastating effects of COVID-19 and a recessive economy.

The new model, to be rolled out next year, will see national sport associations (NSAs) that contribute the most to the BNSC Vision 2028 being better rewarded.

Some sport administrators have already predicted that codes such as Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and Botswana Football Association (BFA) would be in tier one of the model due to their impact.

They are of the view that BAA’s  performance at the international stage and BFA’s popularity impacted on the economy and employment creation placed the two above the rest.

However, there are fears that low impact, expensive, exclusive and less widely practiced sports such as parachute, darts and bridge may take a serious knock from the new system.

Those that have not been active like Korfball may be affected too.

Explaining the planned funding model, BNSC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said the idea was  to ensure that yield from sport investment was not only maximised in terms of results, but also significantly contributed to the national agenda of economic diversification, employment creation, healthy living and national unity.

He said BNSC had developed a matrix that would ensure NSA’s with the highest scores would get more funding than those that scored lower.

“The idea is that we should push a few NSAs at a time to reach a certain level of sustainability and then move to the next set of NSA’s,” he said.

Furthermore, Serufho said while the commission valued all its affiliated NSAs, the current level of funding to sport did not allow for any great achievement to be attained.

A shift from the status quo, he said, was necessary. He did not divulge the codes that stood to benefit more from the new dispensation.

The move by BNSC has instilled fear and worry, especially in small NSAs that are not widely practiced in Botswana.

Sunday Standard sport editor, Botlhale Koothopile said the move was likely to divide opinions as much as it would be welcomed by some Batswana. He added that it was also likely to receive a backlash from some codes.

“If you look at how best performing sports like athletics, chess, karate and boxing have been starved of funding, the move makes sense,” he said.

Countries across the world amongst them Australia, Jamaica and India invest in sports that perform best and it has brought them glory.

If the model was followed, he said the country would retain more talented athletes who have quit because of lack of funding whilst also making them more attractive for upcoming talent.

“Through this model, we would not have our star athletes such as Nijel Amos, Karabo Sibanda and Baboloki Thebe and others having to crisscross the world to train in countries to tap on the infrastructure of those countries because funding will ensure there is infrastructure development locally,” he said. ENDS

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