Retail giants Choppies Super Store has joined the bandwagon to support team Botswana bound for the London 2012 summer Olympics.
The company joined the likes of G4S and British Council when they announced financial incentives for medal winners at the games.
Marketing Manager Otsile Marole unveiled the incentives on Tuesday at Maharaj.Addressing the media Marole said the company took a deliberate effort in line with their social responsibility policies to help the government and sports bodies to achieve sporting excellence in the country.
She announced that athletes who win a gold medal will pocket $100 00 (P765 0000) while silver and bronze medalist will each get $50 000 (P385 000) and $25 000 (P191 000) respectively.
In appreciating that sports is not all about winning but rather competing and putting an effort, she announced that those who make it to the semifinals and finals will be rewarded. They will get $10 000 (P77 000) and $5 000 (P38 000) for their troubles.
“I truly hope that these incentives will go a long way in motivating our Olympics team to strive for medal positions,” said Marole.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Peter Sengwaketse expressed his delight with the Choppies gesture.
“We all know how tough it is for our sportsmen. Most of them are forced to seek full time employment just so they can augment the little they get from sports. This balancing act in the long run affects their performance on the field,” said Sengwaketse.
Botswana intends to send at least 12 athletes to the Olympics but only five have managed to make the cut to date.
Three athletes 400m world beater Amantle Montsho, youngest member of the team and 400m sprinter Nigel Amos and award winning pugilist Oteng Oteng all qualified with an A standard. The duo of 400m runners Isaac Makwala and Pako Seribe qualified on a B standard meaning one of them or both have to upgrade their time to an A standard as only one athlete can qualify on their current standard.
“We really believe that at least one of them will be able to attain the A standard which open an opportunity for other athletes chasing qualification,” said BNOC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho.