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Last minute consultation as Olympic Games deadline looms

The government was involved in last minute consultations yesterday ahead of today’s 12noon Youth Olympic Games (YOG) deadline. Botswana is in the race to host the 2022 global youth tournament, against Tunisia, Senegal and Nigeria.

By lunchtime yesterday, the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate said discussions were still ongoing.

Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said they were working on the government’s commitment.

“I just hope they would have signed by end of today (Thursday),” Serufho said. Archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe slalom, canoe sprint, cycling BMX, cycling mountain bike, cycling road, cycling track, diving, equestrian/dressage, equestrian/eventing, equestrian/jumping, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics artistic, gymnastics rhythmic, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronised swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, trampoline, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling freestyle and wrestling greco-roman form the Youth Olympic Games’ codes.

According to a source, Botswana can only host 50% of these codes. “We will need about four swimming pools and water is a challenge. We

do not have enough indoor facilities and handball is still in infancy stage. There is no cycling track or hockey field. Those facilities are going to cost around P2 billion to set up,” the source said.

It is said if the government commits to hosting the games, it would mean a shift in focus.

“They are failing to build decent stadiums but have shifted focus to mini stadiums. For what and what would they serve?” queried the source.

Ramokate said mini stadiums are intended to improve access to facilities and improve grassroots development.

“They are still a worthy project and an investment for the future. The costs associated with the facilities is minimal compared to the costs of hosting Youth Olympic Games,” Ramokate said.

The government is building ten mini stadiums this financial year, with P50million set aside for the project.






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