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Reikeletseng says sport is under siege

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Reikeletseng PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng has said sport is under siege, with a stagnant grant, while parallel programmes like constituency tournaments get more funding.

Addressing the third BNSC Annual General Meeting in Gaborone this week, he said they have tried to engage the government over both constituency tournaments and funding, but to no avail.

 “We have tried to engage the government about the Constituency tournaments, but we are not winning at the moment,” Reikeletseng said. “It is unfortunate that such tournaments are getting more funding more than us.”

Reikeletseng decried poor funding, an issue that he pointed out needs to be addressed urgently.  He said since he was appointed BNSC chairperson, eight years ago, the grant has always been P52 million. “On several occasions we had engagements with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) pertaining to funding of sport. We all concur that funding is not enough, as such we have the responsibility to explore options to ensure that we do much with what we have,” he said.

Reikeletseng added that the BNSC has grown and the number of National Sports Associations (NSA) has increased. He said there is need to be blunt when moving forward.

“We must show some seriousness when dealing with sport funding. But we did it all

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and we have run out of ideas,” he said. Meanwhile, Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) president, Dr Khaulani Fichani said ideas that were shared during the Sports Pitso held in Palapye such as using lottery to fund sport should be implemented.

Botswana Gambling Authority chief executive officer, Thuli Johnson told Mmegi Sport recently that their licensing plan is ongoing.  He said as per the presentation they made in February at the Sport Pitso, they are focussing on National Lottery Licensing. Johnson said they would be publishing requests for applications in the near future.

“The authority would see to it that NSAs play a significant role in ensuring that their codes are ready and able to offer their games to licences that they would be interested in including into our platforms,” he said.

“This would also necessitate that the controls around the games to ensure that the betting is done on where the outcome is unknown to all players.” 

Johnson said NSAs must ensure that their overall governance is in place to ensure that betting on their games could take place.



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