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BNOC grappling with debts

Serufho says AYG is the most expensive

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) chiefs have revealed that they are grappling with immense challenge of paying back the money they borrowed from various sources to meet demands of this year’s activities as the budget from Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) could not sustain them.


Speaking at the Annual General Assembly (AGA) recently, BNOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho said the three competitions they competed in this year had a budget reaching the ceiling. Overall the MYSC could only avail P15, 728, 381.06, but BNOC needed P18, 949,011.44 which forced them to outsource money so they could host games and compete with dignity at the world showpieces.


BNOC this year participated in three competitions being the Africa Youth Games (AYG), Commonwealth Games as well as the Youth Olympics. From all these, the Negroes Kgosietsile committee is now left with P3, 220,630.38 debts from different benefactors who bailed them out during the time they faced uncertainty.


However, they could not name the helpers but promised affiliates that they would try by all means to repay the money.


From all the games they participated in, the AYG that were hosted in Botswana proved to be the most expensive with expenditure of P14 million while they were given income of  P12 million, while the Youth Olympic and Commonwealth Games were less costly. The AYG was the first major event to be staged on home soil after being given short notice by the Africa National Olympic Committee (ANOCA) and it was not intriguing to see it being more costly since they were not well budgeted for by the ministry.


Even though they are grappling with financial challenges BNOC expressed their happiness with their achievements of this year.’’ 2014 is an historic year we were able to host successful AYG and performed well in the Youth Olympics,’’ Kgosietsile said.


Botswana garnered 31 medals at the AYG, one medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and scooped two silver medals at the Youth Olympics; in addition Botswana was ranked fourth in Africa for the Youth Olympics.


After the Olympic Solidarity (OS) programme availed some funds to help five athletes with preparations to the next Olympic Games, Kgosietsile said they have set themselves a target of six medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, to date they have only one medal from the Olympic Games.


How are they going to get six medals while OS caters for only five athletes? Kgosietsile said they would identify athletes and enroll on the Diamond Athlete Programme, which by far is yet to take off due to inability to secure funding, but he promised that since most of their potential sponsors went with the AYG, they are hopeful that because there are no major counter-attractions, they remain optimistic to raise money for the programme, which is expected to take off next year.


Still at the AGA, BNOC accepted Botswana Cycling Association as a full member following its approval and recognition by International Federation (IF) which had hitherto been pending. Botswana Baseball Federation was not accepted because it is yet to affiliate to the IF.


 Botswana Korfball Federation also presented their application to BNOC and they will know their fate at next year’s ordinary general meeting.

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