Botswana: Athletes Village Under Renovation

Gaborone — Refurbishment of an athletes village in Gaborone is expected to be completed by end of this month, says Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) chief executive officer, Falcon Sedimo.

Briefing media on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports, Sedimo admitted that the complex, which was used to house athletes in camp for national assignments, had been in a dilapidated state.

He said government disbursed P4.1 million to renovate the complex, which would relieve BNSC from lodging expenses.

On other issues, he stated that COVID-19 had a negative impact on the commission's development budget, adding that plans to improve Francistown stadium drainage system had been shelved.

He said P30 million was required annually to maintain sports facilities, adding that the general maintenance of sports facilities, had been ongoing during the pandemic era.

Sedimo stated that closure of sporting facilities withered the commission's revenue generating streams saying, 'BNSC annually generate close to P4 million from sport facilities leasing, therefore the closure of various stadia and sporting facilities has led to a decline in our revenue collection.'

He applauded government's effort to ease some restrictions such as resumption of non-contact sports and opening of stadia, adding, however, that the move would not relieve the commission from revenue generation constrains since spectators were not allowed in the stadia.

He also pleaded with sporting codes to adhere to health protocols.

Furthermore, Sedimo stated that Botswana athletes could not participate in the regional and continental competitionsm because of COVID-19.

He pleaded with the sporting fraternity to come up with ideas on how best sport competitions could coexist with the pandemic.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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