- Targets 8 medals at the Games
Having recently revised their budget, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) is anticipating expenditure of approximately P8 million on the Commonwealth Games, the committee’s Business Development and Strategy Manager, Baboni Kupe, has told the Business Weekly Sports.
Kupe also confirmed that some national sports associations have not received subventions to prepare for the Games due to delayed disbursement from the government through the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC). “But we have received part funding to support activities scheduled for the month of May and we are in contact with NSAs on that,” she said, responding to a question that sought to understand if all NSAs have received funds to prepare for the Games.
She emphasised that even as they await the full funding, they continue to support NSAs through other funding resources. “A prime example of this would be the support provided to weightlifting and table tennis in their attempts at qualification and preparation for qualification respectively,” she said. “Weightlifting was able to successfully attend two events and managed to qualify an athlete to compete at the Games. Unfortunately, in the case of table tennis qualification events were called off.”
Kupe noted that in the course of April three NSAs – boxing, judo and cycling – were supported and attended preparation events. “This was as a result of prioritisation, given the limited funding available,” she said. “With the release of more funds, we intend to increase our support, especially to those associations that have not been beneficiaries thus far, as and when requests are received.”
But what is BNOC’s target for the Games? Kupe told this publication that in line with BNOC’s strategic objective, they target eight medals, which is an increase of three on their previous foray at the Gold Coast edition of the Games where the country won five medals. “However, we are cognizant of the impact that lack of adequate preparation may have on this target, hence we are cautiously optimistic,” she said.
Botswana’s medals from the 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games were courtesy of Isaac Makwala’s men’s 400m gold, the men’s 4x400m relay gold, Amantle Montsho’s women’s 400m gold, Baboloki Thebe’s men’s 400m silver and the women’s 4x400m bronze. Meanwhile, known as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, this year’s edition will be held in venues in the English city of Birmingham and across the West Midlands from 28 July to 8 August. It will be the third time for England to host the Games after London in 1934 and more recently Manchester in 2002.