By Jarrett Costron:
Last summer I was selected to complete a semester long internship in Botswana as a part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholars and SportWORKS initiatives. To be honest, leading up to my departure I have felt an array of emotions, both positive and negative, about leaving my home and embarking on an adventure of a life time. That said, with only one day remaining in Canada, it is safe to say that there is only one way to describe how I feel – EXCITED!
Often when I tell my family and friends about my opportunity they have several questions. As a result, I will be using my first blog to provide some answers.
Where is Botswana?
Botswana is located just north of South Africa, and landlocked between Namibia (to the west) and Zimbabwe (to the east).
Where will you be living?
I will be living in the Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone. According to a 2011 census, about 231, 626 people live in Gaborone.
What will you be doing?
The Botswana National Olympic Committee is currently implementing the Botswana Long Term Athlete Development model (BLTAD) for the sports of soccer, athletics, boxing, golf, tennis, squash, taekwondo, judo, and cricket. The purpose of the model is to guide an athlete’s development, through specific training and competition programs, towards long term success and/or participation in sport from the grassroots to the podium, and beyond. While in Botswana I will be assisting with implementing the BLTAD within Taekwondo.
Why are you going?
I have always wanted to travel as much as possible and experience as much I can. In fact, I considered going on an academic exchange in both my second and third year of university. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take advantage of that opportunity. As a result, when I learned about the Queen Elizabeth Scholars Program, I decided it was something I couldn’t pass up.
Additionally, throughout my life I have participated in a variety of sports at both a recreational and competitive level. Growing up, participating in sport taught me many valuable life lessons such as teamwork, perseverance, and accountability. Without a doubt, the culmination of my experiences within sport have been an instrumental part of developing my self confidence and passion for life. Since, sport has given me so much, there is nothing I want more, than for others to be empowered by sport. By assisting the BNOC with the implementation of the BLTAD I hope to play a small role in giving Botswana’s athletes an opportunity to flourish through sport.
Until next time,