Rio 2016 Preparations on Course

| May 26, 2015

Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho says preparations for Olympic Solidarity (OS) Rio 2016 scholarship beneficiaries remain well on course.

Serufho told the BNOC ordinary general assembly Saturday March 23 that athletes, who include Nijel Amos, Isaak Makwala, Pako Seribe, Naomi Ruele and Kabelo Kgosiemang continued to train and compete at top centres or competitions throughout the world.

Serufho also indicated that the national women’s volleyball team also continued to benefit from the OS team support grant as well as athletes on the Continental Support Fund and other OS facilities.

He added that other athletes with the possibility of qualifying for the games but not receiving funding from OS were utilising other facilities to attempt to qualify for the games.

So far, he said only Makwala and the men’s 4x400m relay team of athletics (track) have already booked themselves places at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Nonetheless, he said the qualification period remained open generally until June next year and they expected that more athletes would have qualified by then.

“The major challenge towards sufficiently preparing for these games is funding, as in the exception of Olympic Solidarity scholarship holders, other athletes are not fully funded to be able to follow their programmes 100 per cent,” he said.

Serufho further told the assembly that preparations for Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in the capital city Apia, from September 5-12, were also ongoing.

So far, he said nine athletes, from athletics, boxing and swimming, have qualified based on their performances in 2014 and 2015 adding however that there was still an opportunity for two more athletes to make it into the team.

However, he said insufficient funding remained a major challenge on team preparations. In other issues, Serufho said with a view to maximize benefit from Olympic Solidarity funding, part of funds that were otherwise allocated to individual track and field athletes were used to engage a full time coach, on a two-year contract.

The athletics coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe, Serufho said resumed work in January 2015 and was based in Goodhope where he was currently working with athletes earmarked for Samoa 2015 as well as Rio 2016, amongst other major games.

On sponsorships and fundraising, Serufho said the BNOC continued to seek partnerships with local and international companies, as well as seek additional resources from the traditional sources being government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“While progress has not been at the rate the BNOC would have desired, there is promise that support will be secured and a full report on this will be given during the Annual General Assembly later this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, a report on the 2nd Africa Youth was expected to be presented at the assembly. Serufho said the report has been completed and would be presented to members in due course. He said the report would also be made available to the public.

He explained that the delay in the completion of the report was that they had engaged two auditors from both government and private company of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“It took some months for the two to complete their auditing hence the delay. Because the report is now complete, we will call a forum where this will be presented to all of you,” he said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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