Mmegi Online :: Botswana to benchmark on French horse racing
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 July 2017, 17:11 pm.
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Botswana to benchmark on French horse racing

MAUN: The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng has said his ministry will undertake a trip to France next month to benchmark on horse racing.
By Boniface Keakabetse Thu 20 Apr 2017, 15:40 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Botswana to benchmark on French horse racing








Speaking during the Mascom Horse Derby, Olopeng said they are pursuing a rigorous horse riding development plan. He said on May 15, 2017 he will travel to France to amongst other things woo the French to start a thriving professional horse riding sector in Botswana.

“We believe we have a consistent climate in Botswana compared to Europe where it is always raining. We want the Europeans to consider starting professional horse riding here,” he said, without giving exact details about the targeted areas for the project.

Olopeng said his ministry has a plan for the national development of horse riding adding that equestrian facilities would be built at different locations in Botswana. “Horse riding could be bigger economically than football. As a ministry, we want to develop it as a sector that could generate income for Batswana,” he said.

Last year, Olopeng stirred controversy with revelations that his ministry was to build a horse racing track in Tonota. Many interpreted that as an indication that his ministry was

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planning to kill the Maun track by introducing a competing activity in Tonota. 

Olopeng, however, used the opportunity to quash the sentiments saying they have no plans to stop the Maun race.

“We have no plans to stop the Maun race. In fact we are looking to support the organiser of this race as he is the one who started this bigger race in Botswana. But we have a responsibility as government to spread horse racing to other parts of Botswana,” he said.

Olopeng further explained that from 2018, they will introduce horse racing as part of the annual Khawa Dune challenge. He reiterated that they undertook some soil sampling to see how horse racing could be part of the challenge.  He said: “I can assure you next year we will have horse racing in Khawa”.

He said government’s plan is to make horse racing part of constituency games, but this has been affected by lack of horse racing facilities in many parts of the country.

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