Despite continued support and sponsorship from the Standard Chartered Bank and the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC), lack of funding has forced the Paralympic Association of Botswana (PASSOBO) to postpone the National Winter Paralympics Games that were due to be held this weekend.
The games, which could have resumed on Saturday and ended today (Sunday), have now been moved to November this year.
Speaking in an interview with Standard Sport, PASSOBO President, Thuso Rasetapa, said there is need for other corporate sponsors and individuals to come on board and help rescue the games.
The PASSOBO president says while Standard Chartered has committed again to helping pay for the games’ venues as well as accommodation and food, the association is still in need of at least P200 000, if it is to host successful games.
He says both the bank’s help and the P150 000 grant from the BNSC is not enough for the games.
Unlike other sports, the Paralympics have seen not as many sponsors since their formation in the year 2000.
Save for Standard Chartered and the BNSC, the Paralympics have always had to rely on Non Governmental Organisations to host their games.
As a means to try get the necessary funds for the games, PASSOBO will on the 11th of September take on a 72km sponsored walk from Lobatse to Gaborone to raise funds for the event.
This will be followed by another one billed for Mochudi on October 23. Despite this severe shortage of sponsors, Rasetapa expressed delight at the growth of the games ever since they started. The PASSOBO president says testimony to this improvement is the performance by local Paralympics athletes in the international stage.
Meanwhile, Rasetapa says his association has just completed its constitution and strategic plan.
The PASSOBO chief informed Standard Sport that this was done to align the association’s constitution and strategic plan with that of the BNSC which calls for access to sport for all by the year 2012.
He expressed hope that this new development will help lure sponsors to the Paralympics.
According to Rasetapa, PASSOBO has not had any strategic plan since its formation, something which has hampered the development of disabled athletes in the country. He says with both the new constitution and the strategic plan, they now will go back to their main beneficiaries, the BNSC to try to source for grant increment.