The Botswana African Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC) needs to raise a further P24 million to successfully host the second African Youth Games slated for Gaborone on May 22-31.
That is to augment the P50 million already pledged by government and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA).
Thus, Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Shaw Kgathi implored the nation and various stakeholders involved to muster all efforts to assist BAYGOC in their endeavour to deliver a quality championship.
“I therefore appeal especially to all members of the corporate sector, all Batswana, residents and well-wishers to hear BAYGOC’s clarion call when they come knocking at your doors,” Kgathi said at the official launch of preparations for the games dubbed ‘Gaborone 2014’ on August 8.
Minister Kgathi also indicated that there were manifold challenges to be overcome by those involved in the preparatory stages of the ‘Gaborone 2014’ games.
“Hosting games of this magnitude is no doubt a mammoth task that requires a great deal of effort, calling on all of us to participate in whatever manner towards assisting the BAYCOG to successfully deliver the games on our behalf,” he said.
The minister pointed out that indicative of the seriousness with which they take their task, the BAYCOG meets fortnightly, and has already developed their road map through a coherent master plan.
Further, Kgathi said the games would afford the country an opportunity to profile the country as a pristine destination for “business, tourism, cultural exchange, education, health, and sport among other things.”
Led by Tuelo Serufho (chief executive officer), Regina Sikalesele-Vaka (chairperson), and her three vice chairpersons, Leina Gabaraane (tasked with commercial relations and protocol), Jagdish Shar (finance, legal and auditing), and Jefferson Siamisang (operations and venues), the BAYGOC board has a total of 15 members.
Serufho, who also leads the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), said since the awarding of the games to Botswana in March, and the commissioning of the organising committee in April, they had been busy making background preparations.
He said they were now in a position to raise awareness for the games, and had engaged various stakeholders including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure a successful Gaborone 2014.
The African Youth Games were the African Chapter and official qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games, first hosted by Singapore in 2010.
The first African Youth Games were hosted by Rabat, Morocco in 2010, and Gaborone will become only the second city to host the games in 2014. ENDS