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€˜Kokotsha Derby could help grow economy

Vice President Slumber Tsogwane says Kokotsha July Derby has the potential to make economic impact and improve livelihoods of people in the community. 

Speaking during Kokotsha 2019 July Derby held at Kokotsha Stables and Tracks on July 15, Tsogwane said the initiative was a great opportunity to harness local resources in Kgalagadi such as horses and its related activities.

He said making use of horses enhanced the value chain aimed at embracing and creating opportunities for all in order to create sustained livelihoods.

He reiterated that the derby could grow the local economy as various goods and services were required to run the horse race event such as lodging facilities, customised apparel, catering, souvenirs, which brought revenue to local designers.

He pointed out that the Kokotsha horse racing sport facility would be developed though revenue from gate takings. 

That, he said would also be possible through collaborations between Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) and other stakeholders.

He said BALA supported one of Kgalagadi’s greatest sport tourism event upon recognising the potential and opportunity presented by the horse racing activity and mobilised its partners to support the initiative.

The theme for the race was ‘sports tourism: a catalyst for local economic development’, thus Tsogwane said as government continued to strive to economically empower local communities, the people should take responsibility.

He highlighted that it was incumbent upon local communities to work with government to  eradicate poverty.

He added that poverty eradication was also an individual’s responsibility and not just government.

The horse racing, he said was a part of Kgalagadi region culture hence the need to develop it and nature it to create employment for the people in the community.

Thus he encouraged communities in Kgalagadi to breed horses and benefit from its value chain.

To reinforce that, he said a local horse training academy could be put into place to share knowledge and grow the sport, which would create business opportunities for locals hence boost the economy.

For his part, BALA president Rev. Mpho Moruakgomo said horses were kept in various areas across the country such as Kokotsha, Tsabong, Bokspits, Charleshill, Takatokwane, Motokwe, Maun, Sese, Good Hope; hence the need to nurture horse racing sport.

He said the BALA continued to sponsor the sport as it believed that it could grow the economy of the country.

He called for the horse racing sport to be included in Botswana sporting codes where Botswana Horse Racing Association should be in a position to advocate for the code.

He added that when the sport was coded, government would also assist it just like other listed sporting codes.

He said the sport had great potential hence its inclusion under Botswana sporting codes should place the country on the map through international competitions.

He said the development would ensure that those participating in the sport had legal bodies that governed the sport and were able to benefit economically.

He appreciated Houmoed Kokotsha Horse Race Club, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board, Mascom, Greenspec Botswana for coming on board and sponsoring the event.

The race had attracted multitudes of horse race supporters who enjoyed races from different categories of races run by 94 horses, which were mostly Tswana breeds. In the thoroughbred category Takatokwane horse Rhumba seemed to be the crowd’s favourite shinning in all categories including the 2 400m grand finale race. ENDS

 

Source : BOPA

Author : Calviniah Kgautlhe

Location : KOKOTSHA

Event : Kokotsha 2019 July Derby

Date : Jul 17 Wed,2019

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