Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 youth games Local Organising Committee (LOC) is optimistic that apart from financial constraints, Botswana will host successful Region 5 Youth championships.
Although the budget for the games stands at P40, 750,000, the government of Botswana managed to chip in resulting in the LOC managing to raise P28, 750,000. However with a budget shortfall of P12 million, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng recently made an impassioned plea to companies operating in the country to come on board and help Botswana host successful games.
Commenting on the matter, the Region 5 Youth Games Botswana Manager Steve Bothasitse said while preparations for hosting the regional youth games are ongoing, the budget deficit is weighing heavily on their work.
While a few companies have come on board, he said the organisers are working around the clock to bring in more sponsors. Asked how much the sponsors already on board have given, Bothasitse said at the moment, it is difficult to reveal as some are sponsoring in kind.
“It is very difficult to quantify some of the amount as our sponsors one way or the other compliment our budget, take Limkokwing University who has devoted its help to production side of the games, as well as any adverts.”
“Our partners will help us in different ways to compliment the budget, as such we are hoping that we will be able to quantify soon on how much we will need,” he said.
Bothasitse said as the game organisers, they will continue to engage with the private sector to come on board.
The sponsors and partners currently on board include Mascom Wireless, Nashua, Fairground Holdings, Limkokwing University of Creative Arts, University of Botswana, Executive Catering, Botswana National Youth Council, Botswana National Sport Commission, Botswana National Olympic Committee, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Basic Education, Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Cally Clothing, JB Sports and Gaborone City Council.
The games are in its 8th edition instalment and will be hosted in Gaborone, Botswana from the 7th to the 16th of December.
All Region 5 member countries have confirmed they will attend the games namely: Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For this edition, volleyball has been added as a new sport code. Other sport codes that will be played are Football, Netball, Tennis, Boxing, Judo, Gymnastics, swimming, athletics, including athletics for visually impaired and Basketball.