Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare has implored the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) board and management to be business oriented.
Rakgare is of the view that each sporting facility must be utilized fully and where necessary come up with ways to gain profit from facilities.
He shared the sentiments last week during the handing over of the refurbished BNSC’s Athlete’s village.
“This is indeed a great achievement. I have been reliably informed that this building block was acquired by the commission, then council in 2007 for the purposes of athletes lodging while in camp. This is done as a long-term strategy to cut costs as athletes had to be booked in hotels during national team camps,” observed minister Rakgare.
He advised the BNSC management to take good care of the facility so that it can be used by clients outside sport when there are no athletes/teams lodging in the athletes’ village. Rakgare noted that government alone cannot afford without sports leaders coming up with innovative ways that can bring income into sport.
“If there are no teams on camp the facility must be used by other members of the society to lodge and generate income rather than let the village remain as a white elephant. It is my wish that this facility will be used to generate revenue for the commission when athletes are not in camp. There is need to develop and implement a business plan to manage this facility in a sustainable manner,” said the minister.
The total cost of this refurbishment was over P 4 million.
The minister who is a former sport journalist emphasised the government commitment in sport.
“Our commitment to sport development in this country is unsurpassed. We are determined to see sport flying our flag high in international competitions. We have the potential as a country to reach the world stage, it is now our time to bring back the medals and trophies,” he said.
He also believes that the facility will go a long way in assisting athletes to perform at their best.
This facility has sixteen (16) units, comprising of eight (8) 2-bedroom apartments and eight (8) 1- bedroom apartments all with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom. There is also an eating area, office and laundry room which have been constructed as part of the facelift.
Chairperson BNSC, Marumo Morule said the facility will be also be turned into business to create money.
“We are going to market the facility so that people from elsewhere can come and use our facility at a cost. The athletes’ villages will also reduce the high charges the BNSC and its affiliates have been paying while lodging in other expensive hotels,” observed Morule.