Botswana’s commonwealth preparations in limbo

Botswana’s commonwealth preparations in limbo


BNOC still waits government’s response on funds

With the XX Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow fast approaching, Team Botswana is reported to be lacking behind with preparations.

So serious is the matter that it is still not clear whether the team would be able to make it to the games.

Bearing in mind that Botswana has missed the games before in 1978 held in Edmonton, Canada, Voice Sport is in possession of a communiqué sent to team managers from Botswana National Olympic Committee.

“BNOC is still awaiting Government response as regards to funding for final preparations and competing at the captioned Games”, read part of the letter.

The letter was copied to the Minister and Permanent Secretary.

Botswana has enjoyed silver and bronze medal success, notably in athletics and boxing in the previous games.

But it was at the 2010 Games in Delhi that Botswana struck gold for the first time.

Amantle Montsho ran home in 50.10 seconds to take first place in the Women’s 400 meters.

Despite this achievement final preparations for the games are said to have been seriously hampered.

There is concern that even if the team makes it to the games they may not perform to the expected level.

The communiqué continued that, “meanwhile, we need to prepare ourselves to make adjustments to our final preparation plans and other logistics.

This is to deal with funding short falls if such occur and also taking into account some activities may no longer be feasible due to time constraints”

According to a highly placed source they were shocked to receive such news just a day after the team had been unveiled to the nation.

“We had thought for the BNOC to come out and announce the team meant everything was in place.”

“Nations are far ahead of us in preparations and we are still waiting for funds as if this is a surprise event.

This is a global event arguably the second biggest after the Olympics and we all know they come every four years”, he said.

When responding to Voice Sport enquiries, the teams’ Chef de Mission Letsholo Letsholo confirmed that they are still waiting for the government to release a cheque which they believe was delayed by the fact that government had just finished funding the recent 2nd Africa Youth Games.

“In government cash follow you cannot just request such large amount of money in such a short period of time.

There are guidelines as to how the money should be released.

So I believe they are still working on how best they can assist us,” Letsholo said.

Letsholo revealed that the idea was for the rest of the team to relocate to areas near Glasgow so that they can acclimatize.

The BNOC last week announced Team Botswana’s crème de la crème to represent the country next month. Amongst the athletes are world’s best 400m sprinter Montsho, Olympics silver medalist Nigel Amos and new Africa 400m men’s record holder Isaac Makwala.

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