Slow start to Olympics' SMS campaign

Serufho says there has been a slow start to the SMS campaign PIC: KARABO KGOSI
Serufho says there has been a slow start to the SMS campaign PIC: KARABO KGOSI

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) SMS donation campaign has started off at a slow pace since its launch in April.

The BNOC launched the campaign in order to augment funds from government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as Botswana prepares for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

 BNOC has set a target of four medals, to add on to the solitary silver medal, which Nijel Amos won in London seven years ago. 

It remains Botswana’s only medal at the Olympics since the first participation in Moscow in 1980.

BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho told journalists in Gaborone yesterday that the SMS campaign has raised only P14, 525 against a target of P2.5 million.

“Our target is to raise not less than P5.5 million by the time we go to the Olympics. From that target, P2.5 million is expected to come from the SMS donation campaign. The balance would come from a series of other initiatives, key of which would be a fund raising dinner planned,” he said.

Serufho said government support could not take them to a level where they are going to achieve the four medals target.

He said in the 2019-2020 financial year, government has allocated P15 million, but they have not yet received the funds. However, Serufho said they expect it within the next few weeks.
“The funds go towards team preparation. It is an improvement compared to other years when we went for international competitions when funds were released late,” he said.

He said in the event that the money comes when they are close to the Games, the effect would diminish to some extent.

“The sooner we get the money, the better, because it gives us enough time to prepare the team.

We are not targeting any specific code to win medals because we trust our coaches,” he said.

“There is no specific athlete we expect to win medals because a medal can come from anyone.”Serufho said it was obvious that most people are thinking medals would come from athletics.
Meanwhile, Serufho said the SMS donation campaign goes towards the team not for administrative purposes.

“We still believe that with aggressive marketing, we would be able to reach our target,” he said.  He added that there have been some suggestions from the public that they have taken onboard.

Serufho said they expect to receive the first batch of the funds raised thus far by the end of July. People can make contributions by donating P5 worth of airtime using the three mobile networks; beMOBILE, Orange and Mascom.  To donate, SMS ‘Team BW’ to 16789.

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