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BNOC needs P25m for Tokyo Olympics

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TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

In order to come up with a formidable and prepared team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Botswana National Olympic Committiee (BNOC) will need at least P25 million, BNOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho, has informed Gazette Sport.

Botswana has won only one medal in the history of the Olympics and that was courtesy of Nijel Amos’ 800m silver medal in 2012. According to Serufho they want to make history by winning four medals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and they will need to invest at least P 25 million to achieve that.

“In the current financial year which ends 31st March 2020 the government has committed P 12 million and we hope to raise P 3.5 million as NOC through fund raising,” he told this publication in an interview. “We expect the governement at the minimum to assist with an additional P 10 million in the next financial year.”

Serufho went on to note that the SMS campaign that they launched ealier this year to raise P 2.5 million for preparations is not getting the kind of traction that they expected.

“We do get people contributing on a daily basis but it is not what we expected. We are however, exploring other ways of exciting the nation to get involved,” he stated. “The SMS campaign is not the only initiative that we have as we are planning to host a fund raising dinner on the 22nd of November and we are also looking at selling mecharndise to raise funds.”

He said they are concerned by the fact that the corporate sector only tend to offer athletes monies when they return from major international competitions but do not play a part in preparing them. “We do appreciate what they do but we request them to play a part in preparing our athletes for the competitions,” said.

The BNOC CEO said they are targetting 30 athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, “and we want to get as many of them as possible with 15 being the minimum number.” He said they hope they will attain their target mostly considering the athletes performances. “ Let us use boxing as an example, they have been performing poorly over a couple of years but looking at their perfromance at the African Games one can see that they have turned the corner something which gives us hope that some will qualify for the Olympics,” he highlighted.

By far only three athletes from athletics have qualified for the Olympics billed for Tokyo, Japan from the July 24 until the 9th of August 2020. Those are Nijel Amos, Christine Botlogetswe and Galefele Moroko.

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