Saturday, October 25, 2008

Remarks by H.H.the Vice President Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe, MP on the Launch of the Football and Volleyball Te Ba Bona Ha Programmes

source: Republic of Botswana (25/10/08): TAUTONA TIMES no 33 of 2008
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President "Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


[Salutations]...Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning

1. Let me thank the Botswana National Sports Council for giving me this opportunity to launch the Re Ba Bona Ha programme for Volleyball and Football in this beautiful village of Mahalapye. That the programme is being launched in Mahalapye can only be a matter of great honour, privilege and personal delight to me.

2. I am told that this is the 16th launch following others that have been done elsewhere in this country, with the most recent being Kasane in the past week. On behalf of the Mahalapye community and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to thank the Botswana National Sports Council and of course its affiliates namely; the Botswana Football Association and the Botswana Volleyball Federation for finally delivering this programme to our area.

3. Our promise as the people of Mahalapye is that this programme will be fully utilized to achieve its intended objectives. As parents we should recognize the vital importance of sport in the development of a child and therefore be prepared to release our children every weekend for participation in this programme. The development value of this programme cannot and should not be underestimated.

4. Director of Ceremonies, success in sport, just like in any other area of life does not come by accident. It is a product of hard work and commitment over a period of time.

5. Over the years our leaders, past and present, have worked tirelessly and selflessly to make this country the success that it is today. In their own small way, each one of them contributed to the development of Sport in this country through delivery of modern sporting infrastructure and facilities. Their dream, I believe was, and indeed still is, to turn Botswana into a winning nation. That dream still leaves on.

6. The challenge for us is to make that dream a reality that it should be. I have all the reasons to believe that the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture provides the required institutional framework and support to enable us to pursue our dream - a dream of making Botswana a nation of winners.

7. It should still be fresh in our minds that His Excellency Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama spoke about the 4Ds of Development, Democracy, Dignity and Discipline when he outlined his road map to the nation on April 1, 2008. If only we could embrace the 4Ds as a philosophical framework in our search for a respectable place in the world map of sport, certainly our success would be assured.

8. We all need to renew our resolve and commitment to deliver higher standards in the development of sport in this country. One way of doing so is to concentrate on grassroots development to tap and nurture the potential of our young people.

9. Kana gatwe lore lo ojwa lo sa le metsi. That is what Re Ba Bona Ha is about. This programme, if well executed and managed should lay a solid foundation for the future. I am encouraged to note that as you rollout this programme to the rest of the country, other development initiatives by the various BNSC affiliates are retained to ensure complementarity between respective programmes.

10. Bagaetsho, you will no doubt agree that as the programme grows, so do the challenges. In recognition of this, the Botswana National Sports Council has taken a deliberate decision to appoint a dedicated officer to oversee proper implementation of this programme. I congratulate the Council for this move for it would assist in facilitating interventions that may be needed from time to time to ensure optimum returns from the programme.

11. Director of Ceremonies, sports mean a lot to our lives. Sport improves health; it transcends political, racial and cultural differences and barriers; it brings about peace; it creates friends and in some cases families, it keeps our children away from the social ills of this world. Most of all, sport brings about unity and pride to the nation and this is in keeping with our National Vision 2016. That is why we must do all in our power to mobilize resources for sport development in this country.

12. I would also encourage those in our sporting fraternity to consider innovative ways of using the limited resources that Government allocates to sports. It is also important for our sports associations to work in partnership towards a common end - and that is making sure that Botswana does not become a perennial loser in both regional and international games.

13. I am therefore heartened to learn that the Botswana National Sports Council and the Botswana National Olympic Committee have agreed on a date for their first bilateral meeting in two years. That is what we need if we are to break the jinx and make a mark at the Olympics, Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup games.

14. Bagaetsho, before I conclude, let me thank all members of the business sector who have been partners with the Botswana National Sports Council in driving this programme. I particularly wish to commend Barclays Bank of Botswana and Metropolitan Life who have contributed immensely to this programme. It is my hope that more private sector players will emulate the exemplary contributions of Barclays Bank and Metropolitan Life. I urge them not to hesitate, because sport in this country needs their benevolence.

15. It is now my singular honour and privilege to declare this Mahalapye Re Ba Bona Ha programmes in Football and Volleyball officially launched. I thank you. PULA!

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