African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region V games Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chairperson, Labbeaus Peloewetse says they are currently P16 million below budget to successfully host the games.
The AUSC Region V games are scheduled for Gaborone on 7th and 16 of December 7th-16th, 2018 and will be held under the theme, ‘Together celebrating excellence’.
Speaking at the games press conference held in Gaborone recently, Peloewetse noted that they have a total budget of P55 million for the games but they have already accumulated around P39 million.
“The government of Botswana has announced that they will support the games to a tune of P26 million and we have accumulated close to P13.9 million as participation fees from participating countries which takes the total raised amount to about P39 million. We are currently having a short of P16 million which we believe the private sector will help to plug,” he noted. “It is however worth noting that the P26 million from the government will not be used in Team Botswana expenses but rather on hosting and preparations of the games. The BNSC is responsible for Team Botswana.”
Moreover, Peloewetse urged the country at large to work together in ensuring that the games are a success. “These games are important as they foster unity in our region; they have also identified great athletes from our region who are now earning a living out of sports,” he highlighted. Local athletes like Nigel Amos, Karabo Sibanda and Baboloki Thebe have participated in the games before.
For his part AUSC CEO, Stanley Mutoya stated that Botswana has by far showed capacity to host successful games with its credible support services. He noted that as a region they are comfortable with Botswana’s status to host the games. “We are very proud and happy to say that Botswana has demonstrated goodwill to host the games,” he highlighted. “Most of the facilities are ready for competition; all we need is adapting here and there and refurbishing a few other touch ups in other facilities.”
Mutoya said efforts demonstrated by Botswana are what they want to see from their member countries when they host the games. “We want to see ourselves running behind key deliverables and delivering on them. No doubt a hosting country will always have challenges; every tournament that we know always has challenges but I always tell people that challenges are the ones that help us refine our tournament.”
The games will bring together athletes aged under 20 from 10 Southern Africa countries amongst them Botswana (hosts), Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique and Malawi. They will compete in various sporting codes which include athletics, basketball, boxing, gymnastics, judo, netball, football, swimming, tennis and volleyball.
The AUSC Region V games are held on a two-year rotational basis. The inaugural games were held in Namibia in 2004.