BY GODFREY MOWANENG
The Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) target of raising P2.5 million for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through an SMS campaign launched in April has taken off to a dull reception.
Initiated with the hope of raising preparatory and welfare funds for the athletes, the public account opened for the campaign is yet to reach at least P20 000 in almost two months of operation.
With the campaign running until end of August 2020, early projections have raised alarming indications of the set target by the BNOC. Sunday Standard internal projections of the campaign indicates that at least on monthly basis, P156, 250 must be deposited to the account through the SMS campaign at a cost of P5.
The calculations projects that the account should at least cover P5208 daily. However, the current collection rate raises concerns as the funds raised so far cannot even match a single week projections despite running for almost two months.
When launching the campaign, it was said that the funds will be used for preparation of the games as it is crucial to ensure adequate level of readiness to compete and qualify for Tokyo 2020. While it is said the funds will be used for preparations that may give athletes enough time to focus on podium finishes, drops from the funds may turn up inadequate to support the dream.
However, Acting President Tshepo Sitale told Sunday Standard that they will do a review on the third month of the campaign with an eye to facilitate for a proper projection going forward. “For now we believe it’s a good start as we have just over 3000 SMSes sent towards the campaign in just a single month. We will review proceeds towards the campaign after three months which will guide us as we measure the impact,” Sitale told the Sunday Standard.
He said the P2.5 million target is achievable looking at mobile phone users in the country. “Over a millions sim cards have been registered with local mobile networks and we are positive that we can reach our target. It is just a matter of time before we catch momentum of the campaign and raise more funds for the campaign as we have realised that some people have started sending as many SMSes suiting their budget,” narrated Sitale.
He concluded saying ‘’our intention is to bring Batswana together and own this initiative as it is for the good of the country and athletes. This will allow us to plan and commit for preparatory events ahead of the Olympic Games. We opted for this campaign due to past experience that witnessed the organisation struggling to gun down sponsorships for athletes’ preparations and welfare ahead of the extravaganza”.