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P9 million for Athletics

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) will use the P9 million sponsorship received from Debswana mining company to prepare for four major upcoming events which National athletes team shall part on.

According to BAA president Botlhale Phaphane, the Debswana sponsorship will be for a period of three years from 2022 until 2024 with the association set to receive P3 million annually. The BAA President said the sponsorship will be channeled towards preparing for the Africa Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth games and World Junior Championships as well as the road to Paris 2024 Olympics.

Phaphane expressed gratitude towards the world leading diamond producer Debswana for the noble gesture. He further assured Debswana management that the sponsorship shall be used to develop as many athletes as possible – as athletics nowadays is seen as a profession.
When handing over the sponsorship, Debswana Managing Director Lynette Armstrong said, “This marks yet another testament to our dedication to uplifting the lives of Batswana, in line with our Building Forever Aspirations, a key part of our 2024 One Dream, One Team strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Armstrong further said that, “In recent international tournaments, our athletes have shown us that with proper support, they can compete at the highest level and deliver silverware, with the launch of this years sponsorship, and we hope that our athletes will continue to do Botswana proud.” For his part The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare said the recent success of team Botswana at the World Junior Championship 2021 in Kenya was a clear indication of the important role that grassroots developments plays in ensuring success.

He said the recent achievements by the team point to the outcome of a combination of a robust talent identification system, good nurturing of athletes and good support by both private and public structures with entities like Debswana. Minister Rakgare also noted that the government is currently constructing ten sport facilities across the country hence they will no doubt enhance quality of sport programming and sport performance.

Minster Rakgare encouraged the BAA to work hard and use the sponsorship to ensure that the athletes thrive. “Please ensure that accountability is key, share your plan with Debswana and give them quarterly reports of how you will use the money,” he said. Meanwhile BAA this past weekend at Francistown held Track and field series in which two national records were shattered, with three athletes qualifying for upcoming championship.

Kemorena Tisang who under the mentorship of national team coach Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyana registered a new record in the mens 400m hurdles with a time of 49.96 breaking national record of 50.88 which was set in 2011 by Daniel Lagamang at the All Africa Games.
He registered a personal best time of 49.96, setting a new national record as well as qualifying for the Africa Senior Championships to be held later this year.

Kelebogile Ambrose of Lion’s Den Athletics Club re-wrote a national record she set on the 15th January 2022 of 10.77m to register a new national record in the women’s shot put of 10.86. In an interesting turn of events, Letsile Tebogo who is the World Junior Championship medalist and 100m and 200m specialized ran his first ever 400m eventually setting a personal best of 46.09. Tebogos time was enough to secure his ticket to World under 20 Championships as well as the Africa Senior Championships in the men’s 400m. Another national team athlete Bayapo Ndori, a 400m specialist of Maun BDF Athletics Club registered national leading time of 45.78 in the men’s 400m, which earned him a spot for the Africa Senior Championships.

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