Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) which is an affiliate of International Olympic Committee (IOC), has received over US$ 3.5 million (P 35 million) through the Olympic Solidarity programme which provides funding to all National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
In December of 2019, during the Annual General Meeting (AGM), BNOC Senior Vice President, Tshepo Sitale told delegates who are affiliates of BNOC, that the country has since been ranked number 1 in Africa in terms of accessing the Olympic Solidarity funding.
Sitale who addressed the delegates said the funding was mainly accessed by the National Federations (NF) for sports science and sports medicine personnel, assisting in the development of sports structures as well as to train coaches and administrators.
The aim of the Olympic Solidarity commission is to manage funding to NOCs recognized by the IOC, in particular those who have the greatest need of it. This funding takes the form of programmes facilitated at National / International level between the IOC, its NOCs, and ultimately with the National Sport Federations.
According to World Sailing website, “Olympic Solidarity programme has two sections which are the coaches section and the athletes section. The athletes section was designed to assist elite athletes selected and proposed by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in their preparation and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with a particular focus on athletes and NOCs with the greatest need.”
“Should an athlete be awarded an Olympic scholarship, the NOC or training centre will ensure that he/she benefits from funding for items such as access to appropriate training facilities, specialized coaching for the relevant sporting discipline, medical and scientific assistance.”
BNOC Communication & Marketing Manager Lame Ramokate told WeekendSport that since the inception of the Olympic Solidarity supports, BNOC in 2019 have applied for 8 sports administration courses at certificate level and 2 advanced diploma courses. A total of 180 sports administrators enrolled; 143 for the certificate and 37 for the diploma.
“For Sport Medicine (3) three courses were funded; a Diploma in Sports Nutrition, an online course which is currently ongoing; an Advanced Team Physician course was held in Monaco and the Cardiovascular Evaluation held in Rome, Italy.” He shared with this publication.
She pointed out that approximately P4.5 million in 2019 was received from the funding used for Athletes scholarships, Sports Administration courses for the Certificate and Diploma and also for National Olympic Committee administration and Sports Science and Medicine Courses.
“The support is dependent on the scholarships, programmes and sports that the athletes are enrolled in. For 2019, athletics & swimming had more athletes on scholarships; thus benefiting more.” She stated.
Ramokate said the funding has enabled BNOC to undertake some of the projects that could not be covered under the Government grant as it has helped in improving sports administration, competencies in sports medicine and facilitated athlete development to qualify for major games;
“Currently 10 athletes are in the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship with 3 having qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” she said.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
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