- Budget includes Africa Senior Champs, World Champs and U20 World Champs
- BAA is banking on the govt grant and Debswana sponsorship for the comps
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) needs over P2 million to prepare and participate in international competitions, BAA Vice President Administration, Oabona Theetso, has told The Business Weekly Sports.
The international competitions that BAA has marked for participation this year include the 2022 African Athletics Championships for senior athletes at Côte d’Or Sports Complex in Mauritius from 8 to 12 June, the 2022 World Athletics Championships in BAA in Eugene, Oregon in the United States from 15 to 24 July, and the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships at Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero in Cali, Colombia from 2 to 7 August 2022.
“These competitions are going to be very expensive for us,” Theetso said in a telephone interview. “Our projections show that we are going to need more than P2 million for them. The money will be used to prepare and send athletes to the competitions, among other things.
“According to our projections, one competition that is going to be especially costly for us is the African Championships because we may have to send a team of over 40 peopled that will include athletes and officials; and athletes are qualifying for it in large numbers.”
But he noted that the budget is not much of a perturbation because BAA has a government grant through Botswana National Sports Commission and Debswana sponsorship to for funding. Blue chip parastatal Debswana handed BAA the first tranche of a three-year sponsorship to 2024 in which it will receive P3 million annually.
BAA president Phaphane Botlhale at the time said the sponsorship will be used to preparing athletes for the Africa Championships, the World Championships, the World Junior Championships and to prepare Paris 2024 Olympics.
In answer to a specific question, Theetso said that BAA is not in a rush to call athletes to a training camp and that it may do so three weeks before each competition. “What people ought to understand is that we called lengthy training camps in the last two years because sporting activities were suspended so we had to keep athletes active,” he said.
“This year the story is not the same because athletes are training with their clubs and competing among clubs. The local athletics competitions calendar is very busy this time around, which is a great plus for us.” In related news, Theetso told this publication that BAA is not responsible for preparing athletes for the Commonwealth Games as they fall under the remit of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC).
Known as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, this year’s edition will be held at venues across the English city of Birmingham in 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.