Gaborone International Meet goes cosmopolitan

Isaac Pheko - BG reporter
Monday, 06 March 2017
Gaborone International Meet goes cosmopolitan

Sports View Runners Club has this week launched the Gaborone International Meet (GIM) in a bid to sell the country’s biggest capital city and attract international athletes.

The race which was previously known as Sports View International meet will be   hosted on 29th April at the national stadium under a new and more cosmopolitan banner. The marque race, which has helped local athletes qualify for international events, has grown in leaps and bounds in the past 15 years.

However, the international track and field extravaganza requires a minimum of P101 000 to host the event which is expected to attract both European and African countries. So far, the club has raised P80 000. “It came to our attention that the event was not growing to a level that we intended initially.

It is then after thorough evaluation and consultations that we came up with the new name “GIM”; to sell our country (Botswana), attract international recognition in which local athletes would get the opportunity to compete against international athletes,” said Sports View chairman Glody Dube at the race launch in Gaborone. Addressing members of the press and other stakeholders, Dube said the Meet continues to attract athletes worldwide. “This is confirmed by the countries who have already confirmed their participation including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia. The closing date for confirmation is 23rd April 2017.” Moreover, Dube said they are expecting even more countries to confirm their participation through invitations extended by Botswana Athletics Association (BAA).

Dube said they expected international athletes to push our locals to qualify for various major events including the Regional Senior Championships and the World Championships. “GIM will sponsor accommodation, local transportation, feeding and massage service to two athletes per country, costs for the rest of other athletes will be borne by their federations. We hope that more runners and corporate organisations will take part this year to further encourage and grow the culture of social activism through athletics in Botswana.”
 Dube said this year’s events will be grouped and attached specific prizes as Premium, Classic and Promotional events.

For the first time the event will include Special Olympic races in 100m. “I therefore strongly urge the corporate sector to come on board to assist in availing more attractive purses for the athletes”. Dube said entry to the event would be P50 adults while entrance for children under seven years is free. Dube said some of the country’s elite athletes would be competing during the event. “After reviewing the races of the past few years, taking note of the growth of our Meet, we decided that this would be ideal to ensure a smoother and safer event for everyone”.

This year the host has invited the Anti- Doping Agency through the help of Botswana National Olympic Committee. Some of the event sponsors include the Director Special Olympics Botswana Ross Tebele (P5000), Lefa Welding Engineering Pty LTD (P5 000); Rolling Wheels (PTY) Ltd (P30 000) and the main sponsor Khayelihle Guest House (P40 000).

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