Despite being left with less than two weeks, the third edition of the biennial Botswana Games is facing insurmountable challenges. More teachers are reported to have opted out of the games and went for secondary examinations marking that coincide with the Games.
The teachers are reported to have been attracted by mouth watering offers compared to the Games where they are just volunteers. The Games also need around P10 million to cover all areas but to date only around P2 million has been raised.
Another problem for the Games is that they mostly rely on annual secondary sports activities to select their players. This year, there have not been competitive sports activities due to a standoff between teachers and the government over the former’s working conditions.
Despite all the challenges, the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) has made it clear that the Games would go on as scheduled. One of the organizers of the Games, Boitshoko Tsiane, told the Telegraph Sports at a press conference that they have acted swiftly to replace those teachers that left to mark the examinations.
“Honestly there was nothing we could do because the Botswana Examinations Council is offering teachers what we cannot. Teachers are just volunteering for the Games and if a good financial offer comes their way they are tempted to take it,” he said.
Regarding the financial challenges, Tsiane stressed that they are working around the clock to raise needed money for the Games. He said if they cannot manage, other aspects of the Games would obviously be affected. The Executive Secretary of the BNSC, Kitso Kemoeng, has also come out strongly in defence of the Games because some people question their authenticity. Some people argue that BNSC should channel the money spent on Botswana Games to grass roots developments.
Kemoeng said Botswana Games is preparatory step for local athletes towards bigger games.
“Botswana Games are very vital and they help in many ways. We have so many volunteers from technical to administration and even in some logistics. Next time when we host Games of bigger magnitude, we would not struggle because we will be familiar with what is needed. Also most of the players from Botswana games have helped the country to do well in regional competitions such as Zone VI,” he said.