Khama urges private sector to match government in sponsorship
Despite a disappointing showing at the London World Championship this year, and the continuous disastrous performances by all football teams, there’s a general consensus that
our local sports has come of age.
In his State of the Nation Address President Ian Khama said last year athletics and karate teams have performed exceptionally well bringing home medals from international competitions.
“Collectively, Botswana teams won a total of 194 medals in the last financial year, and 141 medals, including 48 gold, have already been won since April of this year,” Khama said.
Khama further urged the private sector to invest more in sports to help develop and improve performances local athletes.
He said government has spent over P130 million on sports development this past year, against P37 million received from private sector sponsorship.
“Here I wish to encourage more private sector investment to at least match government in the future,” said Khama.
The president said for athletes to be at par with their competitors at international competitions there should be motivation and incentives.
He said to improve performances and meet the welfare needs of athletes, government continues to motivate athletes by paying appearance fees and performance incentives.
“Our heavy investment in capacity building of sport administrators and development of sport infrastructure has also enabled us to host major sporting events,” said the President citing the recent Netball World Youth Cup 2017 where the country hosted 19 countries.
“Similarly, we have hosted the World Baseball and Softball Conference in October 2017 and will be welcoming International Working Group on Women and the African Union Sport Council Region 5 under 20 Games in 2018,” he said.
President Khama reminded the house that the Gambling Act was passed in 2012 opening the door for a National Lottery with the best tipsters as well as new betting activities that were starting.
“Once operational the lottery will further support the development of sport and recreation and arts and culture, as well as youth empowerment and local charities,” he said.
The outgoing president also highlighted the importance of constituency sport tournaments which continue to attract sizeable numbers of youths.
He said in the 2016/17 financial year participation levels averaged 84,000 compared to 28,500 at inception in 2008.
This year athletics has been introduced as the fourth sporting code covered by the games after football, netball and volleyball.