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Qualifying Athletes Pay Stands At P 2.7M

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) is expected to spend more than P2.7 million on athletes who have qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

BNOC chief executive officer, (CEO), Tuelo Serufho told Sport Monitor that when they started the programme of giving athletes who have qualified monthly stipends, the budget stood at P2.7 million. He said with the postponement of the Olympics to next year, the budge would increase.

"Now with the postponement, the figure has to go up if we are to extend to next year as we wish," he said.

According to a statement from BNOC, an announcement was made at the recent Ordinary General Meeting, that after consultations with stakeholders and an approval of Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC), athletes that qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are eligible for monthly stipends of P8,333,34.

"An athlete is eligible for the incentive beginning the next month after attaining the qualification standard until the month of the start of the Olympics," reads the statement in part.

The statement  explained that the arrangement was meant to be in place until

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July 2020, but given the postponement of the Games, BNOC is looking into the possibility of extending it by 12 more months to July 2021.

"The payments are made directly paid into athletes accounts and the first credits were in April," the statements adds.

Serufho argued that the arrangement is also meant to address athletes' concerns of being forced to over-compete ahead of Olympics.

"We expect athletes to win medals for us at the Games and if they over compete, they would be tired during Olympics. So we want to avoid that," he said. When asked about the coaches, Serufho said for now the incentives is for athletes only.

"We are constantly exploring ways of making the operating environments of those in the sport development value chain as congenital as possible. Coaches, administrators, medical personnel and others who play pivotal roles and when resources and other circumstances permit we would come up with appropriate programmes for them," Serufho said.



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