The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC)’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Boniface Mabeo, says preparations for this year’s London Summer Olympics are going as planned.
Speaking in an interview, Mabeo said BNOC had secured finances to help sporting codes prepare for the world’s biggest sporting showpiece.
“We are delighted to inform you that the government has availed over P3 million to be used by the sporting codes to prepare for preparations. This money is to be used for the period up to March after which we will expect some more money to be availed after the budget allocation,” Mabeo said. He says the money is also being used to finance the ongoing boxing national team camp as well as other camps which are expected to resume in due course.
While admitting that the money availed by the government is enough for preparations, the BNOC communications officer lamented the lack of active participation in sport of the private sector, saying it is time they put their hands up and help the government in developing sport in the country.
“Producing a world class Olympic athlete is a very costly adventure and this is where we need the private sector to come in and help. The foundation has already been laid and it is now up to the private sector to come on board,” Mabeo said.
He says apart from helping build athletes, the involvement of the private sector in sport can also help market and brand whichever company is involved in sport.
Mabeo says as such, the BNOC has decided to launch an Olympic ball, which aims at bringing the private sector closer to sport.
“We want them to invest in sport so that when athletes perform well, they can be associated with them, not just when they are winning, but also as people who helped make them,” the BNOC Communications Officer added.
Apart from bringing the private sector to sport, Mabeo said the other aim of the Olympic ball will be to source money to be used to motivate athletes when they represent the country at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
On other London Olympics related issues, the BNOC Communications and Marketing Officer says they expect to announce the winner of the London 2012 team attire design competition during the Olympic ball on the 25th of this month. He says going into the Olympics, they expect the team to be dressed by the local Batswana during the Olympics as a way of promoting them.
“We are delighted that this initiative had attracted a lot of Batswana from all walks of life. We believe this will open opportunities for local Batswana designers,” he added.