4 February 2018

Botswana: Olopeng Hails Administrators

Palapye — Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng has commended sports administrators for working hard to host events of international stature which make the country proud.

Speaking at the Sports Pitso held in Palapye over the weekend, Olopeng said these events were made possible by the spirit of volunteerism, urging administrators to continue with resilience.

These events include, among others, the successful hosting of the Netball Under 21 World Youth Cup 2017, World Baseball Softball Congress 2017 and Botswana Games 2017.

He said this year, the country would be hosting the AUSC Region five Under 20 Youth Games and the International Working Group on Women and Sport Conference.

However he said there were challenges in the area of sport which needed to be addressed such as sport administrators who were always causing fights.

"We should behave like a family and learn to forgive each other. We must accept each other's mistakes," he said.

That, the minister said would enable them to help each other and grow sport in the country.

He said it was important for sport administrators to deliberate on issues of good corporate governance because sporting codes were riddled with indiscipline, mismanagement and maladministration.

The Sport Pitso was meant to bring together stakeholders to discuss issues affecting sport and to find the best ways to grow sport into a big money spinner.

He said the Pitso would help to introspect on the challenges and map plausible ways of dealing with them.In addition, he said it was critical to discuss issues of financing in sport, acknowledging government's efforts to fund sport.

He said government alone could not meet all the needs in sport as such private sector involvement was welcome to augment government funding for sport.

He said it was imperative to find alternative sources of sport funding as well as retaining potential sponsors.

He said government had extended tax rebates to companies that supported sport as a way of attracting private sector involvement and support for sport.

For his part, MYSC permanent secretary Kago Ramokate said alcohol levy was not used to fund sporting activities.

He said funds from the alcohol levy went back into the government coffers and only a small percentage was allocated to the Ministry of Health and Wellness to fund anti-alcohol campaigns.

He said alcohol levy could not be used as an alternative source of funding.

Source : BOPA

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