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Glorial Gaosikelwe
Glorial Gaosikelwe


Sacrificing for Sport

Gloria Gaosikelwe was recently appointed Chairperson of the Botswana Sport Volunteers Movement (SVM).
The 49-year-old Hukuntsi native’s sporting background dates back to 1987, when she started playing softball as a student at Lehutshelo JSS.

Her passion and knowledge for the game saw her manage Dinare Softball team for over 20 years as well as eventually taking over the reins for both the men’s and women’s national teams.

Gaosikelwe also served as Secretary General for Botswana Softball Association (BSA) from 2015 to 2018, a position she currently holds with the Zone 6 Softball Confederation from 2016 to date.

Without further ado, let’s get to know this esteemed sports administrator a little better…

Congratulations on your recent appointment, it must feel good?
The appointment means a lot to me as I have always had a vision to lead sports at one of the top positions. I take this position seriously as one of those I have always wished for.

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What exactly does SVM do?
SVM is a BNSC sub structure which was formed in 2000. It is responsible for coordinating sports volunteers’ activities in Botswana. It is nationally coordinated by SVM National Executive Committee.

So, what does your role as chairperson entail?
To lead and to give guidance to SVM. Also, to ensure that the SVM goals are met and to coordinate and monitor the SVM strategic objectives.

Have you set yourself targets and what are you hoping to achieve?
Yes, I have set myself and the Executive committee targets. Within the first quarter of my appointment, which is by April 2022, SVM should have engaged and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with national sports associations in the country. SVM should, by April 2022, again have improved the SVM database for easy registering and monitoring of the volunteers.

I understand your movement has structures, are they all active?
Yes, we do have structures in regions and sub-regions. These structures are active, all active but these are not enough as the country is wide. SVM is continuously encouraging more sub-regions to be formed, in order to easily carry out the movement’s mandate across the country.

What challenges does the movement face?
People are not coming forth to register as volunteers because there is no reward. Volunteerism is offering your service for free; due to unemployment, some youth expect to offer services and get something as a reward – when they realise there is no reward, they step back.
The other challenge is that some of the National Sport Associations are not aware of the SVM existence so in most cases they use volunteers that are not registered. It becomes a challenge to monitor unregistered volunteers as they would not be aware of the SVM working guidelines.

What kind of support is SVM getting from BNSC?
BNSC fully supports SVM, it provides funds for the running and administration of SVM, countrywide. It provides training and workshops as and when requested and required by SVM.

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When did you develop interest in sports administration?
I began to volunteer when I was an athlete in the 90’s. I was playing [softball] for Dinare and was appointed the captain of the team. That was the start of my leadership role in 2004. In 2006, I tripled my roles as an athlete, captain and caretaker manager when the club’s manager was transferred outside Gaborone. That’s how I started the administrator role. In 2007, I was appointed assistant manager for the women’s national team and thereafter was national team manager for various teams, under 19, senior women and senior men.
I also moved through different structures of Botswana Softball Association from Southern Zone committee, National Executive committee to being the Secretary General of Zone 6 Softball Confederation.

What does it take for one to be a great administrator?
In sports, we volunteer a lot and because of the passion we have for sport, we end up using our own resources. For you to be a great administrator, you should have passion, be a good team player, have good communication skills, be a good listener and allow criticism.

What do you enjoy most about being a sports administrator?
I enjoy working with people. For this position of SVM, I will enjoy it most because all this time I have been a sports administrator at softball, but this one is for all sporting associations. I think I will like it as I will be interacting more with different associations, characters, leaders and learning something new.

You have been SG for Zone 6 Softball Confederation since 2016, how would you describe the journey?
The journey as Zone 6 SG was a challenge because in the region only two countries are active, being Botswana and South Africa. Some, like Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia, are struggling to have active committees and teams. So, to try bring them on board was a challenge.
That’s the reason why even now softball is not affiliating to AUSC Region 5 because of the number of active countries. The journey then was worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. The committee became dormant although it was recently resuscitated.

Away from sports, who is Gloria?
I hold a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Botswana. I am currently employed as Principal Electrical Engineer/Project Manager, Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development. I am a mother-of-three handsome boys. I have passion for farming and when I retire I will be a full-time commercial farmer.

How do you balance such a demanding job with sports volunteerism?
I balance my time very well because I have been within the sport fraternity from a young age. I have always managed my school, family and sports time. My family know my calendar of sports events and know when I am free to spend more time with them.

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Who is your inspiration?
Any good leader is my inspiration, especially locally. I have worked with different leaders, some helped me grow by providing positive encouragement and some, of course, made me grow with their negativity. I took those negative comments as feedback and they changed me to a good administrator.

Thank God It’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?
Friday evening, I chill with my friends over a cup of coffee and sometimes a glass of wine. I love coffee (laughing). All my Saturdays, until 26 March, I will be attending SVM Regional Annual General Meetings. I will be meeting with committees and members at the regions. Then, on Sunday, I go to my farm in Kweneng to relax my body and prepare my mind.

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