Friday, June 21, 2024

Golden Grand Prix back on track

Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) chief executive officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho says preparations for the Botswana Golden Grand Prix are back on track.

This is despite the absence of the event’s chief organiser Glody Dube who cannot fully take charge due to work commitments. Dube, who is a teacher, faced difficulties in leading the preparations after his employer, the Ministry of Basic Education, refused to grant him leave.

In his absence to take the lead, Dube handpicked Serufho to be his right hand man to lead the preparations on his behalf. The latter is volunteering for free and does not expect any monetary reward.

“We are on the right track. Sponsors are coming on board to aid in staging a memorable event that will have a long legacy in the local sport not only to athletics. It will also have a bearing in hosting future sporting events,” observed Serufho.

He said the event already has the backing of the Ministry of Sport, BNSC as the local sport governing body and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) as the custodian of athletics in the country. He says all are committed to support the event to succeed.

Serufho is adamant that if the Golden Grandprix is well staged, the ambitions of Botswana and Namibia to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be easily served because the country would have achieved a world event. 

He went on to add that the BNSC and the ministry of sport support events such as the Botswana Golden Grandprix because of their huge potential to contribute heavily to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “The Golden Grand prix will be broadcasted live on television in over 150 countries across the world. This will in future be beneficial to Botswana because it will be exposed on the international arena,” he said. 

The BNSC CEO observed that hosting the world event is also helpful to local athletics because more Batswana athletes will take part in the event unlike when they are expected to travel abroad, which is very expensive for them and the association.

Tuelo explained the government has so far committed P1.2 million towards the event. 

BAA leader, Phaphani Botlhale explained that his organization is supporting the event as the local athletics regulatory body. “The equipment that will be used during the event will be from BAA and technical officials will be coming from BAA. If there is need to buy more equipment to match the set standards, BAA will do that for the event to become successful,” he explained.

Botswana is the second country in Africa after Kenya to have been awarded the rights to host the Golden Grand Prix.

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