Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remarks by His Honour the Vice President Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe at the Unveiling of Sponsors for the 2nd Botswana Games @ Vip Lounge UB Stadium

source: Republic of Botswana (2/12/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 28 of 2009
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery


[Salutations]…Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I am naturally delighted to have been invited to officiate at this important function of unveiling sponsors for the 2nd Botswana Games. It is indeed a pleasure for to be part of a gathering that brings together men and women who love sports with passion. Let me thank all of you for your presence at this very important occasion which is a clear demonstration of your unwavering commitment and unqualified support for the development and growth of sporting activities in this our beautiful country.

2. As you are all aware, I had the privilege of officiating at the launching of the 2nd Botswana Games in September this year where I reminded everyone that my association with the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) goes way back. I am very grateful that as patron of the Botswana Games, I have the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with athletes, sports administrators, the business community as well as the men and women who are the drivers of sports development.

3. I wish to take this opportunity to thank Botswana National Sports Council for conceiving this noble idea of mobilizing athletes from all corners of the country to take part in these games. The aim of this important activity is to identify talent and prepare athletes for international competitions. The performance of our athletes in international competitions will contribute immensely to our efforts to market Botswana internationally.

4. I have been informed that athletes below 19 years of age will compete in 13 disciplines. I am also told that at least 4 200 athletes from 16 districts are expected to take part in the 2nd Botswana Games which will take place in Gaborone from the 14th to the 19th of December 2009.The level of enthusiasm for the event is indeed a manifestation of the growing popularity of sporting activities in Botswana.

5. It goes without saying that preparing for these games is an enormous task as it entails the mobilization of huge financial resources in order to make the event a success. In this connection, BNSC has been engaged in the exercise of soliciting funds from individuals and companies for the purpose of staging the games. It is encouraging to note that so far several companies have responded positively.

6. Director of Ceremonies, allow me to thank these good-hearted men and women as well as the organizations they represent for their benevolence. Esteemed sponsors, your generosity not only makes it possible to host the 2nd Botswana Games, but also contributes in no small measure to the attainment of some of the ideals of Vision 2016. Surely, your contribution should ensure the success of the games. This success will be measured in various ways.

• Firstly, by the extent to which all involved in this enterprise (athletes, coaches and managers from different parts of the country) will be able to interact with one another and cultivate long lasting friendships and camaraderie.

• Secondly, by adherence to the principle of fair play during the games.

• Thirdly, by the amount of grace and humility that will be mustered by losing athletes.

7. Director of Ceremonies, I wish to assure the sponsors from Mmegi, Chemical Industries Botswana, Soap Box Communications, Gaborone Sun, Trade World and AT & T Monnakgotla, Security Systems and Canon that my lieutenants in the Botswana Games Organizing Committee will ensure that you derive maximum value out of this relationship. The companies I have mentioned have been most generous and I would like to see more companies coming to the party to assist in this noble effort.

8. Indications are that BNSC, which has committed P3.5 million so far, needs to raise P2 million more in order to stage the games successfully. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to corporate organizations, groups and individuals in Botswana to make contributions in any form.

9. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me reiterate my Government’s resolve towards the development of sports in this country. The importance of sports in any country cannot be overemphasized; needless to say it contributes immensely to the physical well-being of individuals as well as a healthy society. It is for this reason that the Government has allocated BNSC P62 million this financial year, an increase of P12 million from last year’s grant. It is my fervent hope and desire that the allocation will indeed make a meaningful contribution to the development of sports in Botswana. It should be appreciated that this is a huge investment for which the nation expects good returns especially during this time when our economy is reeling under the problems arising out of the global economic recession.

10. In conclusion, let me wish the organizers of this event and the athletes’ success in these games.

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