Monday, January 24, 2022

Youth Games face financial hurdle

With only eight months to go before Botswana hosts the 2nd Africa Youth Games, the Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC), is still some millions short of successfully organizing the games.
Despite the recent P8.5 million pula sponsorship that came BAYGOC’s way courtesy of Choppies Superstores, the committee is said to be at least P25 million short of the bare minimum money needed to run the games. According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BAYGOC Tuelo Serufho, the organizing committee needs the money to add to the P57 million they already have in their pledges or in their coffers to ensure the games are hosted successfully. Speaking in an interview, the BAYGOC CEO said to ensure Botswana runs quality games, a bare minimum total cash injection of close to P80 million will be needed. “Obviously, these estimates are just for the bare minimum we need. If we are to host quality games, we are going to need more than that. If we say bare minimum, we are talking of enough finances to meet the most critical necessities, not everything that we need to do,” Serufho explained. According to the BAYGOC CEO, the bare minimum will at most cover for the expenses of providing the most basic necessities of the games like upgrading facilities as well as providing for athletes and officials. “As an example, it will afford us to upgrade facilities like playing fields and courts but not covering restrooms. It can allow us to provide the most basic food needed but not more than that. That is what we mean by the bare minimum money needed to run the games,” he continued. He said at the moment, the organizing committee is working hard to bring on board more sponsors to inject the much needed cash or even the equipment or material needed to ensure proper preparations. “We are open to any help or sponsorship that we can get. We will be very appreciative if, for example a company can volunteer to provide us with material to upgrade our fields and courts or even provide labour to build such,” Serufho explained. The BAYGOC CEO expressed happiness at the support his committee has received from the Botswana Government and Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), who he said have been very supportive of the local organizing committee. He said as it stands at the moment, the Botswana Government has given out close to P28 million towards the games while ANOCA has given out $2 million (approximately P17 million), while Choppies added P8.5 million to the total sponsorship monies. Meanwhile, the BAYGOC CEO said the organizing committee is planning on how best to give all the companies that sponsor the games all the necessary mileage possible. He however said the amount of mileage given to companies will depend on the amount of sponsorship value the company has given to the games. The 2nd Africa Youth Games will be the biggest games ever hosted in the country, with more than 4000 young African athletes representing 40 African countries expected to attend.

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