Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stanley Mutoya has expressed happiness with Botswana’s preparations to host the 8th edition of the AUSC Region 5 Youth championships.
Despite the games Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Labbeus Peloewetse’s assertions that the LOC is still a whooping P16 million short of its budget for the games, Mutoya said Botswana has achieved a lot since they were awarded the games.
According to the AUSC Region 5 CEO, Botswana has fulfilled almost all that is required from them at this stage to host successful games.
Among others, it is required that for the games to be hosted by a country, there must be some goodwill by the government of the host country, something which the government of Botswana has fulfilled.
“On February 21 early this year, the government of Botswana signed a protocol agreement with the AUSC to show their support for the games,” he explained.
The government’s goodwill, aside from signing the protocol agreement, has been shown by its willingness to stump out monies towards the games organisation.
According to LOC Chairman Peloewetse, P26 million has been availed to the LOC by the government of Botswana towards the games.
The money accounts to almost half of the P55 million budget the LOC needs for preparation and hosting of the games.
Peloewetse said the other monies came from the games’ participating countries, who he said had collectively put forth P13.9 million towards the games.
The LOC chairman then explained that the monies put forth by the government are only meant for preparations and hosting and will not be extended to team Botswana.
Meanwhile, Peloewetse said the LOC will be embarking on a mission to find partners to help them get the P16 million budget shortfall they have. Peloewetse said such partnerships, will not only be in cash but will also be in kind.
Still on the games, Peloewetse said the games LOC will be looking to leave a lasting legacy as part of Botswana’s hosting of the games.
As part of the games legacy project, the LOC chairman said they seek to refurbish the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) courts, which they also want to change into an indoor facility.
He said while the budget is still challenging, their ultimate aim is to eventually hand to BONA an indoor facility, even if that may occur after the games had been concluded.
The AUSC Region 5 Youth championships will be hosted in Gaborone in December this year.
At least 10 countries, including hosts Botswana, are expected to participate in the games, which will be played under the theme; Together Celebrating Excellence.