The Midweek Sun

Regional Inter-Municipal games come to GC

- BY SUN REPORTER

The Southern African Inter- Municipal Sports Associatio­n (SIAMSA) games are set to be held in Gaborone, Botswana from the 3rd-09th September this year, as the bid to promote unity and physical engagement by various members in public services of local authoritie­s in the southern part of the continent continues.

The games were initially set to be held in 2020 but the outbreak of the Coronaviru­s led to their postponeme­nt.

Local Authoritie­s and Health Inter-sport Associatio­n (LAHISA), affiliate member of SIAMSA, are already readying themselves to deliver successful games.

The President of LAHISA, Kagiso Keitumetse, told Sun Sports that preparatio­ns are underway and called for the support of the corporate sector to come on board and support the games.

“We are currently tirelessly working to secure grounds and venues for various sporting codes. Regarding sponsorshi­p, we don’t have a sponsor yet, we have reached out to some companies, we await their feedback as we continue to push to secure sponsorshi­p for the games—only Capital Bank came through back in 2020, with P150 000, for now we don’t have any sponsor,” Keitumetse responded.

LAHISA president shared that lack of financial assistance from the business community towards these games put a dent to their efforts to deliver the games at a required internatio­nal standard.

“It could affect our efforts, of course, to deliver successful games, hosting means securing venues, paying umpires/ referees which come at a cost. So we need the support to be able to plug these gaps—our estimated budget for the games is at P1 million,” he revealed.

LAHISA executive members together with the local organizing committee for the games have already visited Gaborone City Council to lobby for support ahead of the games.

“We have had engagement­s with them

[Gaborone City Council], they warmly welcomed us and did pledge their support, support comes in different ways; they have given us free transporta­tion for us to pursue our other interest, financiall­y they are yet to make any commitment but we are still hopeful that they will come on board,” he said.

At least six countries are expected in Botswana for the games, being Lesotho, Eswatini, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

About 5000 athletes are expected to grace the games, which have been considered as a great tourism adventure for the local industry.

“When you bring a good number of foreign nationals into the country, which also means there will be foreign income, will boost the economy of the country. For example, most hotels in and around Gaborone have already been booked by some countries which will be coming for the games, small medium enterprise­s are also set to greatly benefit during the time of the games; the communicat­ion and transport industry will also significan­tly benefit,” LAHISA president highlighte­d.

“We are bringing some officials from various councils in the region, this will provide an opportunit­y for a benchmarki­ng exercise, even politician­s will stand to benefit, ministers, city mayors, general secretarie­s will grace the games, they will exchange ideas on how they operate in their respective countries, it will not just be about games but also knowledge exchange. These games have the potential to unite, foster cordial relations and promote teamwork amongst participat­ing countries,” he added.

Keitumetse reiterated the need for the country to demonstrat­e great qualities of hosting the games as Botswana is currently involved in a bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals come 2027.

The Minister of Youth Empowermen­t, Sport and Culture, Honourable Tumiso Rakgare has been roped in as the patron for the games.

 ?? ?? EVENT ORGANISER : President of LAHISA, Kagiso Keitumetse, this week said preparatio­ns are underway
EVENT ORGANISER : President of LAHISA, Kagiso Keitumetse, this week said preparatio­ns are underway
 ?? ?? CHAMPIONIN­G SPORTS: Minister of sports Tumiso Rakgare
CHAMPIONIN­G SPORTS: Minister of sports Tumiso Rakgare

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