GIM in financial stress with three weeks to event

appealing for sponsors

Tlotlo Kebinakgabo

Gaborone International Athletics Meet (GIM) organizers are appealing to potential sponsors to come on board to make this year’s event a great success.

Formerly known as Sports View International Meet, the athletics showpiece which has been taking place for the past six years, was rebranded last year to allow for different stakeholders to take part in the event. It is the brainchild of former 800m athlete Glody Dube and it is aimed at creating a platform for both upcoming and elite athletes to showcase their talent against top international athletes.

Speaking in an interview with this publication, Dube appealed for more sponsors to come on board as they are way below budget. “Our budget for this year’s race is P1.3 million but we haven’t reached half of that as we are speaking,” he decried. “We are crying for more sponsors to come on board to make this race a success, any kind of sponsorship is welcome, may it be cash or in kind.”

He said it is difficult for them to secure sponsorships as athletics is not that popular in Botswana despite athletes’ stellar performances in international competitions. “I mean there is nothing that can sell Botswana as compared to athletics, imagine how many people knew of Botswana after Makwala’s scandal at London. Sponsoring us and being associated with GIM would give potential sponsors more exposure,” he said.

This year’s meet is scheduled for the 29th of April at the National Stadium in Gaborone. “Our initial date for the meet was the 28th of April but we ended up postponing after learning that the BDF day celebrations are going to be held on the 28th still at the National Stadium,” Dube said.

Despite financial constraints Dube highlighted that preparations for the meet are going well as international athletes are continuously confirming their participation. “The LOC has been working very hard to ensure that the race is a success, they are doing an incredible job,” noted the 800m Olympian.

Dube who finished eighth in the 800m final during the 2002 Commonwealth games went on to highlight that they want this year’s GIM meet to be a world class event which will forever be remembered by many people. “We also want it to be better than some races you always see on TV,” he said. Top local athletes amongst them Amantle Montsho, Isaac Makwala and Nijel Amos are expected to be part of the race.

Tickets for the day sell at P 50 across the board.