Saturday, September 26, 2020

GIM organisers eye quality international athletes

BY PATIENCE LEPHOGOLE

Local athletic supporters may be in for a treat if plans by the organisers of the Gaborone International Meet (GIM) come to fruition.

Having welcomed a host of international athletes during the 2018 meet, organisers say they want to bring only quality international athletes to the event.

Faced with financial difficulties, GIM director Glody Dube has confirmed that this year they intend to bring at least twenty international athletes to the event.

“This will however depend on our resources, hence the need to get everything in the right track,” Dube said.

While not yet sure who the athletes will be, the GIM Director said they are continuously engaging with some international athletes to lure them to take part in the GIM this year.

“We are engaging with some athletes’ managers to see if they can agree with their athletes to grace our event. Our main concern however is whether we can afford to pay what the athletes and their managers may want,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Dube said they want at least 50 local athletes to be part of the event.

As with international athletes, he said they will be seeking to ensure they have the best of local athletes on show for their premium events.

“We will be using qualifying time for selection processes of athletes, which we believe is fair on all athletes,” Dube added.

Meanwhile, GIM General Manager Kitso Kemoeng highlighted that they have developed a strategic plan through which all their activities will be driven with clear timelines and performance measures.

“We have also embarked on an exercise to develop other governance instruments to lay a solid foundation for our operations and activities,” Kemoeng said when addressing a media briefing this past week.

“We have also opened dialogue with both the BAA and the CAA to identify competent and adequately trained local and international officials who would be part of GIM2019. We will soon open applications for volunteers, for it needs special requirements,” Kemoeng added.

Kemoeng further noted that the Meet remains open to local athletes at all levels, with events ranging from Promotional, Classic and Premium. He said they hope to include categories for the Special Olympics athletes.

He said “We are in the process of compiling a competition manual to guide us with all the technical and operational requirements for the Meet. These would include a composite set of rules and regulations. The manual, once concluded, would be shared with the BAA and CAA for their technical input and necessary approvals.”

Despite being financially restricted, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) is hopeful that they will have gotten their budget estimated at P1.2 million.

“To successfully run this event, we need P1.2m. We continue to embark on resource mobilisation activities that should enable us to run the successful and glamorous event we intend to host,” he added.

“We always insist the quality of the event would largely depend on what portion of the requisite budget we raise. The more we raise, the better the quality,” Kemoeng noted.

The 3rd edition is scheduled to take place in Gaborone on Saturday 27th April 2019 at the National Stadium.

GIM, an annual international athletics competition, is the brainchild of Sports View Runners Club founder Glody Dube. Sports View is an affiliate of the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA).

Their intention is to sell the event to stakeholders and attract crowds. It was highlighted that a number of measures will be put in place.

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