Gaborone — Government will no longer spend money on athletes' accommodation when they are in camp, thanks to the newly renovated athlete village.
The village has 16 units comprising of eight two-bedroomed apartments and eight one-bedroomed apartments, each with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom.
Handing over the renovated facility to the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) on December 1, the Minister of Youth Development, Sport and Culture
Empowerment, Tumiso Rakgare said the facility had served its purpose, albeit with maintenance costs and upkeep lacking, due to constant usage by the athletes.
"With the advice of the commission, the ministry made it a priority to avail funds to assist in refurbishing the facility to improve its aesthetic appeal," he said.
Furthermore, Rakgare said the refurbishment came at a cost of over P1.4 million, adding that expectations were that it would be fully utilised.
He urged the BNSC to avail the facility to other organisations, when teams were not in camp, for it to continue 'sustaining and maintaining itself'.
The minister said there was therefore need to develop and implement a business plan for the sustainable management of the facility.
Rakgare said government's commitment to sport development was unsurpassed, adding, "We have the potential, as a country, to reach the world stage, it is now our time to bring back the medals and trophies".
The BNSC chairperson, Marumo Morule thanked the government for investing in sport and paid tribute to their predecessors in the BNSC, who saw it fit to have such an investment, as well as the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, for rehabilitating the facility.
Morule said BNSC would continue to maintain the village so that it remained in a good condition, promising that they would find alternative uses when the athletes were not using the facility, so that it could self-sustain.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>