Gaborone International Meet (GIM) organisers have promised an improved and better event next year.
Formerly known as Sports View International Meet, the GIM was held on April 29 at the National Stadium.
While this year’s event had attracted a good number of high profile athletes from and outside Botswana, it was marred by poor organisation.
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia joined the hosts for the meet.
The event had attracted some of southern Africa’s best track stars such as Lesotho sprinter Mosito Lehata, Nijel Amos, Amantle Montsho, Lydia Jele and Zambia’s Kabange Mupopo.
Despite attracting such an array of track stars, the event started an hour and a half later than the scheduled time.
While spectators were all settled in their seats by 2pm when the event was scheduled to begin, they had to be patient as equipment for some events only arrived at 2.45pm.
One of the event organisers, Glody Dube, of Sports View Club said they were not ready.
“We are aware of the delay that happened but there was little we could do at the time. Our expectations were that the field would have been prepared the day before the event but we had no control over the officials,” Dube explained.
He said with the officials arriving very late in the morning to prepare for the event, and not the previous day as was hoped, the organisers also had to step in to do some of the work themselves.
Another disappointment was the constant announcement of the event sponsors, which, though expected, overshadowed the commentary on athletes and thus took the spotlight off them.
“Money was a problem for us as the budget was tight but the event had to go on. This is where the sponsors came in. There was need to show some appreciation,” Dube explained.
He said unlike some sporting codes like football which can attract many sponsors, athletics is struggling to get backers and that means they have to give them as much mileage as they possibly can.
Dube promised that for next year’s event, they will be ready and well organised.