BAA gets P2.5m

SHARE   |   Thursday, 12 December 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Nijel Amos Nijel Amos

Funds to aid Olympics Preparations

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Botswana  Athletics  Association (BAA)  has  received a  whooping P2.5 million  to use   towards   the  preparations   for the  upcoming  2020 Olympic games.

Botswana   have  only   three  athletes   who  have  qualified for  the   games  being Nijel Amos  for  800m,Christine  Botlogetswe  and  Galefele e Moroko  for the   400m.

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However   with  the   athletics   season   currently  on  break (off season)  BAA  is running  agaisnt time   to  make sure   they    qualify as many  athletes as  possible  with  the deadline  set for  June 29  next year.

According to  BAA  president Botlhale  Phaphane, they  have many activities   lined-up  to  prepare  the already  qualified  athletes as well as to  help   more   to qualify. With   the  season  expected  to  start   early  January, BAA  will   have  to  take advantage  of  many  competitions around the  world  to help more  athletes qualify.

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“The preparations are going on but rather at a slow pace. In November we took a break so that the athletes can rest after a lengthy season which ended in October. We have planned on a training camp   from December 9 and   then break up for Christmas. With  this camp  we  are planning to  put in a good  number of athletes because  many  of them  are about  to  qualify. Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) gave us P2.5 million but due to our hectic plan we will have a balance of less than P500, 000 by end of December,” he said.

Phaphane said the funds  are not  enough  and hence they  have  requested for an additional   P5 million from  Botswana National Olympic  Committee (BNOC)  which  will  be used  from  next  year  up until   the   games.

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However though the BAA leader   says they   will seek some additional funds   from  the BNOC this  comes  at a time in which  BNOC is  no longer   in charge  of   the  funds   from  the  government  since it’s the BNSC now  who  controls  the funds.

As of now  BNOC  is currently  struggling  with  their SMS Donation campaign which has still not gained  momentum  though  it  was launched  to   raise   money   close to   P2,5 million  for the  games and preparation .

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Though international camps are always a costly exercise, the BAA has planned to train the athletes   in Malaysia and Japan   before   the   start of the   games   next year.  

National team coach Justice Dipeba is of the belief that   time is already lost   but   much work can still be done.

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“We have ran  out of time  but it is still  possible  to qualify  more athletes  if we can  hit  the ground running  at the  beginning of the year because that’s  when they  will  be more competitions before the closing   date for qualifications. It will be   great to make sure the team stays sharp, have all personnel on the ground so that we can make sure that all issues are addressed well in time. I would like to move the team to a place with similar or closer conditions as Tokyo so that we can prepare under the same conditions. Athletes need quality competitions which will qualify them for the games,” said Dipeba.

Zibani Ngozi, Ditiro Nzamani and Leungo Scotch are some of the promising athletes who are likely   qualify.  

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