Phamotse courts corporate support for AUSC Games
SPORTS Minister Mahali Phamotse has lobbied corporate support as the country prepares to host the regional under-20 African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games in 2020.
The biannual multi-sporting event is held on a rotational basis by 10 region 5 countries and will this year be hosted by Botswana next month.
Phamotse told corporates at a breakfast meeting in Maseru on Wednesday that it would only be through the help of the companies that they can host a successful event which will not only benefit the government but the country at large.
“These games are not for the government only but they are also for this nation and as the ministry we need your support as the corporate world to see that it becomes a success so we will present our budget to you once we are have finished preparing it,” Phamotse said.
“As a country we are still behind in terms of infrastructure and facilities and the hosting of these games means we need accommodation for about 3000 athletes who will be competing in different sporting codes by 2020. The athletes are going to compete in judo, swimming, volleyball, football, athletics, tennis, gymnastics, netball, basketball and boxing.”
Phamotse said the reason for which she asked to meet with the companies’ representatives early was that she was aware that most companies would soon start compiling their budgets for next year.
“I am aware that many of the companies will be starting their budgets for next year soon and this is the reason for which I thought this will be the right timing to lobby you prior to the budgetary process.”
She begged the companies to also help in raising awareness about the games.
“We need every Mosotho to know about the games and I hope your respective companies can help us in achieving that feat. It would be nice to see our games mascot or logo on your products. I know you are in business and we sit down and try to see ways that all parties can benefit from the partnership,” she said.
She also added that the country is set to host the fourth edition of the continental African Youth Games in 2022. At least 55 African countries are expected to be represented at the games.
“We are also going to host the Youth Games in 2022 so there is just lot of work to be done hence we are asking for your help. We bid for the Youth Games because we are saying we are passionate about improving the image of the country which has been tarnished by our past politics,” Phamotse said.
Dubbed Maseru 2022, the games which are played once in four years will see athletes from 55 African countries competing in 28 sporting codes for 10 days.
The games are targeting female and male athletes from 15 to 17 years.