Minister lists a challenging sponsorship environment, scarcity of sports programmes in public schools, doping concerns, and leadership instability among obstacles in Botswana sports
The challenges in Botswana’s sporting landscape have been acknowledged by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare.
Speaking at a recent welcome ceremony for Botswana’s athletics team, Minister Rakgare noted a challenging sponsorship environment, scarcity of sports programmes in public schools, doping concerns, and leadership instability among the obstacles.
But these challenges notwithstanding, the minister emphasised the country’s remarkable achievements in sports at a recent welcome ceremony for Botswana’s athletics team.
“I would, of course, be surprised if any of you would not agree with me that notwithstanding the challenges, we continue to achieve unprecedented results in sports, and the year to-date is no exception,” he said.
“Infact, for me to say the year to-date is no exception would be an understatement. Rather, we are having a phenomenal year, and in part it’s all thanks to our athletes, sports leaders, the Government of Botswana, the corporate sector, parents and other stakeholders.”
Minister Rakgare used the occasion to announce that the government has made a significant decision to substantially increase its funding for sports and the arts in the next financial year.
He expressed hope that this increase, coupled with support from the private sector, will lead to even greater performance and achievements in Botswana’s sporting arena.
Exceptional achievements in Budapest
During the event, the athletics team that robustly represented Botswana at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August was honoured and rewarded by various stakeholders, including the government and private sector entities.
One standout athlete, Letsile Tebogo, received substantial rewards for his outstanding performances. Botswana’s leading supermarket, Choppies, awarded Tebogo with P250,000 in recognition of his medals in the 100m and 200m races.
Minister Rakgare confirmed that Tebogo will receive no less than P250,000 from the government. Additionally, the turbo-charged sprinter was granted P60,000 by Debswana Diamond Company, broken down into P30,000 for his silver medal in the men’s 100m race, P20,000 for the bronze in the men’s 200m race, and P10,000 as participation fee.
In total, Tebogo will receive P560,000 or even more in rewards.
However, Tebogo is not the sole beneficiary of rewards. The men’s 4x400m relay team – consisting of Leungo Scotch, Baboloki Thebe, Bayapo Ndori, Laone Ditshetelo, Collen Keninatshipi, and Zibani Ngozi – will each receive P25,000.
This sum includes P15,000 for reaching the final and P10,000 as participation fees. Tshepiso Masalela will also be awarded P25,000 for reaching the men’s 800m final.
The women athletes who represented Botswana at the championships, including Oratile Nowe and the women’s 4x400m relay team comprising Lydia Jele, Obakeng Kamberuka, Golekanye Chikani, Galefele Moroko, and Thompang Basele, will each receive P10,000 as participation fees from Debswana.
Coaches Chilume Ntshwarang and Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyane will likewise be granted P10,000 each from Debswana for their significant roles in supporting and guiding the athletes.
Additionally, the athletes will receive their share of the P926,000 allocated by the government for the team, which is the same fund from which Tebogo will receive his P250,000.