Botswana to host Diamond league

08th August 2017
TOP TABLE…Ass Minister Goya (R) and Mogotsi Source:The Midweek Sun

Sports View runners club chairperson Glody Dube this week announced an ambitious plan to bring the cosmopolitan Diamond League track and field showpiece to local shores. Dube was speaking during the launch of the 2018 Gaborone International Meet (GIM), Local Organising Committee (LOC) launch in Gaborone yesterday (Tuesday).

The former athlete who is behind the equally ambitious GIM is determined to bring the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) event to local track and field supporters. Having served on the athletics circles as an athlete (800m) and an administrator at the Botswana Athletics Association, Dube said he will continue to work hard until his dream is realised.

“If the GIM is not turned into a Diamond League by next year, I will be a failure, we shall make history because since the inception of the league, Africa has never had the opportunity to host the event, it is common only in European countries.” The Diamond league has only been staged in the North African country of Morocco. An optimistic Dube said he has already submitted all required applications to the relevant bodies, adding that he applied through the BAA, the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) and the IAAF.

“I have done everything and if they do recognise us, it will be one great thing but if we fail, we will surely reapply.” Moreover, Dube said that he has been organising the GIM from his own pocket, an endeavour that has weighed heavily on him. Furthermore, Dube said it is straining for him to organise the event on his own. “This is why we had to spread our wings and seek assistance.” The formulation of the 2018 GIM LOC will be helpful in ensuring smooth running of the event and hopefully elevate its standard to greater heights.

The former middle distance runner said they are working around the clock to ensure that they involve everybody in the tournament; this will include infusing veterans into the event. It will feature retired athletes or even those who have not participated in athletics before. “At the rate at which local athletes are progressing, there is need for us as the administrators to expand and grow at the same time.”

To spice up the 2018 GIM, Dube said they intend to host world athletics stars. However he conceded that bringing celebrity athletes to the event means digging deep into their pockets, as they have to cover their travel expenses and appearance fees. “We cannot solely run the event with amateurs, we need to popularise the event as much as possible or else we will lack mileage.” Meanwhile the newly ushered in GIM committee comprises Assistant Minister of Basic Education Moiseraele Goya as the GIM Patron, Barulaganyi Mogotsi as Chairperson and former Botswana Football Association CEO Kitso Kemoeng is the General Manager. The team also has Wedu Motswetla as Head of Operations, Calistus Kolantsho as Head of Publicity, Keenese Katisenge serving as head of Sales and Marketing. Dr George Mokone will be heading the Medical and Sport Science Committee.

Mpiwa Bosenogile will be leading the finance section while Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Director- Technical Bobby Gaseitsiwe will be in charge of technical matters.

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