- Debswana, Choppies and FNB have contributed over P600K to athletes
- Government incentives expected to be paid in 14 days
The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and the Ministry of Sports are still hopeful that other members of the private sector will join in honouring athletes who recently represented the country at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Team BW finished 15th of the 71 nations that took part in this year’s games with 5 medals (3 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze). Furthermore the team is now ranked 5th best in the African continent for their fine display.
Upon arrival in the country, they were welcomed by Vice President Slumber Tsogwane and other members of the cabinet. The team would later be be hosted for a welcome dinner where it was announced that government would pay incentives of more than P1 million to the team. Minister of Sports Thapelo Olopeng added that the athletes would be paid their incentives within a period of 14 days.
Local mining diamond company Debswana became the first member of the private sector to reward the medal winning athletes and coaches to the tune of P 250 000. 400m gold medalists Issac Makwala and Amantle Montsho each received P25 000 to add to the P100 000 from government. For winning a silver medal, Baboloki Thebe received P20 000 (plus P75 000 from government).
Members of the men’s 4×400 meters relay team each pocketed P25 000, while the ladies team that won Bronze took home P15 000 each. To top it up, Debswana recognized both coach Mogomotsi Ootsetswe and Justice Dipeba with P10 000 each.
First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) and Choppies yesterday (Monday) also continued in honouring the team. FNBB gave the team a total of P185 000. Makwala and Montsho each received P20 000 for winning gold medals, Thebe P15 000 for his silver, the 4x400meters men’s relay team received P20 000 each while members of the ladies team got P10 000 each. They also rewarded coaches with P5000 each.
Makwala and Montsho proceeded to receive P50 000 each from Choppies, Thebe P25 000, mens relay team P100 000 (to be divided amongst the four) and the ladies team P60 000 (also to be divided amongst the four). Choppies total contribution seats at P285 000.
Speaking at the Choppies event, Olopeng said they were still courting more members of the private sector to add onto the the government incentives. BNOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) also added they were in engagement with a few undisclosed companies to willing to reward the athletes.
Choppies CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu also vowed to give a helping hand in the teams’ preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, former President Ian Khama announced yesterday (Monday) that government will introduce a new initiative called Agriculture Investment for Sports which will see top achievers being given livestock and small stock as an investment for their future after sports. His statement reads as follows.
“We should encourage and motivate our sports men and women to be top achievers during their careers by not only rewarding them when they win medals or do well in National teams but also after they retire. Therefore, we are introducing an initiative that will further reward such sportsmen and women after they retire by helping them to establish themselves in their new lives. The initiative will be called Agriculture Investment for Sports which will see top achievers being given livestock and smallstock as an investment for their future after sports.
I therefore call upon owners of livestock and small stock to pledge any number of animals for this purpose and their pledges will be kept in a register. In order to pledge, you should contact the Former President’s Office III and speak to the Private Secretary, Brigadier George Tlhalerwa at 3956121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively contact Honourable Minister Patrick Ralotsia at 3689102.
Each code of sport will identify who they think are deserving recipients for this investment and at their retirement donors of livestock will be contacted to avail their pledges for onward transmission to the beneficiary. We look forward to your support for this initiative,” reads the statement shared on his official Facebook page.