The government has allocated the Botswana Games P10 million, instead of the requested P15 million and the organisers say they will have to do with what they have.
More than 3,500 athletes are expected to take part in the games, which start in Gaborone on Monday, with the opening ceremony on Sunday.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Bobby Gaseitsiwe told Mmegi Sport during an activation function held at Rail Park mall yesterday that their requested budget was P15 million but the government gave them P10 million. He said they have to stick to the new budget, adding that the private sector has also assisted.
“We have companies that have assisted us with water, printed t-shirts, paramedics, Gaborone City Council and University of Botswana amongst others,” he said. He said the full list of the sponsors will be announced today during a press conference.
The games are meant for children under the ages of 19 drawn from all of the 16 districts. He said the games are used to select athletes who would represent Botswana at the Under-20 Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region V games, which are scheduled for Botswana in December 2018.
Some prominent athletes like Naomi Ruele, Nijel Amos, Karabo Sibanda and Thabang Setshego
He said the LOC is working with Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association (BOPPSA) and Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) and there was noway the children could skip the school structures. He added that out-of-school youth are involved on a minimal scale.
The National Stadium will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies, football final and athletics, while the other venues are Tsholofelo Hall, UB Stadium, National Diamond, Maruapula grounds and UB indoor arena.
Gaseitsiwe said they are not going to use the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) premises as they would be unavailable.
He said the intention is to have some of the games broadcast live on Btv.
Gaseitsiwe said Botswana Games cannot be expected to be as big as the Africa Youth Games or Netball Youth Cup because even the funding is not the same. He said the next venue for the 2019 Games can only be announced after the board has taken a decision.
The Botswana Games are held every two years and the last edition was in 2015 in Francistown.