Historic week for our sports
……National Compliance Platform established, and tomorrow the National Athlete Commission will be set up
(By ESRC Communications)
Shu……Shu.…. Shukuma Eswatini!
The sports movement is celebrating a milestone following the establishment of the National Compliance Platform (NCP).
This all-too- important body had its first meeting on Tuesday at the Happy Valley Hotel, where the group was formally introduced to the sports movement. The purpose of the meeting was for the NCP to map a working plan for the newly formed body. Of course it is ourselves, the Eswatini Sport and Recreation Council (ESSRC) and our partners, the Eswatini Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (EOCGA) who are behind the formation of the NCP.
This body will be responsible for reporting to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). We are obviously thrilled that we have finally established this very important body, which is something that is actually long overdue. The NCP will specifically deal with all matters relating to reports to UNESCO on anti-doping. Many may not be aware but the country is a state party in the UNESCO Convention, which makes it clear that all countries should have such a body. UNESCO is actually eager to have a clean sport, which is free of doping. All countries need to ensure that they play their part towards a clean sport.
We are optimistic that we are headed the right direction and also confident that the new group will do extremely well with timely reports to UNESCO.
As a country we are already reeling from the devastating effects of the anti-doping, as one of our most promising athletes was slapped with a numbing four-year ban. Making it worse was the fact that the athlete was undergoing intensive training under the Podium Performance Programme (PPP). It was a major blow not only for the athlete but the country as a whole. That is why we are saying that the establishment of this body was long overdue.
We need to be part of the broader international community and as already stated, the international community frowns at all kinds of doping. We should all know that there are out of competition tests, which can be randomly conducted by anti-doping officers. In short, there are no excuses for an athlete found to have tested positive for prohibited substances.
Our athletes, officials, coaches and administrators need to familiarise themselves with a number of issues related to anti-doping. The sporting movement needs to know how serious doping matters are. The world now frowns at doping and as it is often said that ignorance of the law is no excuse, we need to get our ducks in a row.
Having said that, it is imperative to hail the strides being taken by the ESRC in as far as improving our sports are concerned. Tomorrow, as stated previously, we will be setting up the National Athletes Commission. This too will be a first in the history of our sports. We will also be establishing this important body in collaboration with our partners, the Eswatini Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association (EOCGA).
This is pursuant to the National Sports Policy of 2012 (as amended) and the EOCGA constitution
Our recognised National Sports Associations (NSAs) are already aware of our call for submission of nominations of athletes to serve as Commission members. We had fixed the deadline for submission yesterday but have actually extended a grace period of a few more hours for those associations that might have had difficulty in submitting their nominees.
Our NSAs are requested to submit their respective representatives’ athlete through the online platform, which was forwarded to them recently via our online platforms. Here is the link, as a reminder; (https://forms.gle/VyawgXARhCJuCeASA).
As stated, the official establishment and commissioning of the Athletes Commission is tomorrow at the Happy Valley Hotel, starting at 0900am. Please keep time.
Remember, for an athlete to qualify for nomination to serve in the National Athletes Commission, athlete must:
- be Swazi Citizen;
- have no doping violations in their sporting career;
- must be actively participating in sport at national and international level and/or;
- have participated in the Olympic Games/Paralympic Games;
- have participated in the Commonwealth Games;
- have participated in the African Games;
- have participated in sport-specific Regional, Continental or World Championships; or
- be a holder of an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship or be an athlete on the Podium Performance Programme.
Learning curve for lady cricketers
The country’s senior women’s cricket team is finding the going tough in Gaborone, Botswana where they are competing in the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers.
On Saturday, the international novices were outclassed by a ruthless Zimbabwean side, which is an experienced outfit in such outings. The local side had also lost their opening clash against the hosts, Botswana.
We are aware that the team is playing in such a tournament for the first time and were bound to have it tough against experienced opponents. They too will learn. We are fully behind our team despite results obviously not going our way. The team should treat their first major international tournament as a learning curve. They should hold their head up and not be dismayed. The sport of cricket has come a very long way in the country and we can safely say that they are on the right track. We cannot expect instant or overnight success.
For now, though, it looks almost certain that the country will not be represented in the 2023 eight edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup tournament, which is scheduled for South Africa.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Only he who can see the invincible can do the impossible” – Frank L. Gaines