While the local athletes are busy vying to for a place at the world’s biggest sporting event, 2016 Rio Olympics, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho said they are confident that they will secure enough funding for athletes that make the final cut.
Botswana’s biggest hope in this year’s Olympics lies with the Athletics team where 5 track runners have already secured flight tickets. Serufho said that if more athletes qualify, they will need extra funds in order to accommodate additional athletes regardless of their initial financial plan.
“When we did our budget it was based on a certain number of athletes qualifying, but at the rate at which they are qualifying now it looks like we will need additional funding,” he said.
He further stated that if there were opportunities of getting more money they would be able to do more with those who have qualified and be in a better position to assist those that are still attempting to qualify especially those who are close to succeed.
Ahead of such enormous global sporting events, well established private companies usually come on board to assist with funds and endorsements but Serufho laments the slow pace with which things have been moving.
“We have been knocking on their doors for assistance and in some respects we have not been fortunate and in some there are promises. We are working on some deals which we hope will go through for the benefit of team preparations and all of our athletes,” Serufho enlightened.
Following the outbreak of the dreaded Zika Virus, BNOC has been working closely with the Brazilian embassy and are constantly getting updates on the situation. “We sent a delegation from home towards the end of last year in order to check on the conditions that side and we are considering sending another delegation for the last time before the games. This is to ensure that everything will be in place before the team arrives in Rio,” he added.