ODC gives BNOC P500,000 for Olympics

BNOC received P500,000 from ODC today.PIC:KENNEDY RAMOKONE
BNOC received P500,000 from ODC today.PIC:KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) has provided P500,000 to the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) as part of preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The handover ceremony today coincided with the marking of 100 days to the Olympics. Speaking during the event, ODC managing director, Mmetla Masire said the money is meant to assist Team Botswana to prepare for the 2024 Olympics. “We do appreciate that a lot more is needed and by us going first to put money, others will follow, so that the team is adequately funded so that they can perform to their best,” he said. Masire said his company understands the power of sport, which is to inspire and unite the nation. BNOC acting CEO, Tebogo Kesupile said the team is struggling when it comes to sponsorship, especially post-COVID-19.

“Elite athletes continue to face challenges inclusive of tightening budgets in their quest to be competition-ready. The sporting industry must come up with ways to remain relevant to the corporate world,” she said. Meanwhile, BNOC president, Colonel Botsang Tshenyego said sport is funded through the recurrent budget, which has implications for the preparations. He said as such BNOC submitted proposals to the corporate world for assistance in the team's preparations. “The sponsorship gesture from ODC comes at a time when funding is at its highest demand when athletes and support staff will be preparing for the games,” he said. Athletics remains the only sporting code that has stamped tickets to Paris while other codes such as boxing, beach volleyball, swimming, weightlifting and taekwondo are still pushing to qualify.

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