Gaborone — The annual Gaborone International Meet (GIM) to be held at the National Stadium on Saturday, will have two promotional events for upcoming athletes and Special Olympics.
Also, the meet will have seven classic and six premium events.
Addressing the on April 23, GIM general manager, Kitso Kemoeng said they had already received entries from eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe at the close of entries.
He further said they had been working with Global Sport Communication on athletes from Eritrea, Uganda and Kenya.
However, he said Eritrea and Uganda later withdrew their entries due to unforeseen circumstances. Cameroon, he said submitted a statement of interest at the beginning before they went quiet, only to resurface now.
Kemoeng further said they were currently working on protocol matters with the Cameroon embassy in South Africa in an attempt to ensure that athletes arrive on time for the competition.
Should they succeed, he said the technical team was on standby to accommodate them.
Also, he said they were expecting 240 local and 100 international athletes, 50 technical officials and 40 volunteers.
Further, he said the meet would be broadcast live on Botswana Television courtesy of their ongoing partnership with the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) that started last year.
He said they were working together on roping in external expertise to improve the broadcast product from the past year.
"Perhaps at this juncture, I should mention that our continuing partnership with the Department of Broadcasting Services has earned us P90 000 for this year. It is perhaps in order for us to once again thank the national broadcaster for continuing to strive for promoting national events," he said.
The event is sponsored by Mascom with P100 000, while Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development has injected P410 000 towards athletes' appearance fees and prize monies.
Other sponsors are Khayelihle Guest House while Special Olympics provided P5 000 and Rolling Wheels sponsored with P10 000 and a vehicle to be used during the preparations.
He further said CSS Bureau de Change would dress their officials and volunteers, while Task Bench would sponsor their website.
Meanwhile, GIM director Glody Dube said they were aware that the Meet clashes with other events in Mauritius and South Africa adding that they had furnished Botswana Athletics Association with their dates to be incorporated into the Confederation of African Athletics calendar of events.
He said they would continue engaging with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the Meet was included in the calendar of events.
Source : BOPA