Botswana Softball Association (BSA) and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) are determined to deliver a spectacular World Baseball Softball Congress (WBSC) despite budget constraints. BSA and LOC have been met with a seemingly financially fatigued corporate sector since there have been a number of locally hosted events to sponsor.
The WBSC slated for the third week of October this year is expected to be a glittery event in local sport history, notably like the July Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC). The LOC recently decided to keep a low profile to give the NWYC glory time but is now running helter-skelter to secure funds; meanwhile, time continues to be injured.
Speaking in an interview this week, the Chairperson of the LOC, Jacob Sesinyi, revealed that spanners are at work and progress is on track for the event, with the main undoing being reluctance to sponsor the event by the business world.
“The budget for this congress is P5 million and government has promised that she will only avail at least 70% of that. We have requested from various companies but it appears there is a fatigue following BOT50 and the NWYC so we are forced to be reasonable in our requests so that we don’t push them away but with or without them the event will be staged nonetheless,” Sesinyi said.
However, by far Sesinyi says they are at an advanced stage to host the event and they have cajoled two companies to assist in a successful staging of the historic event. The other one is in kind and will provide transport for VIP’s, Secretariat and delegates during the event. The other one according to the LOC head will assist them financially and it is “substantial assistance though I cannot reveal the name of the two pending official launch”.
Since the congress will also double as the elective meeting the expectation is 400 delegates will descend in Botswana. BSA president Tirelo Mukokomani says they are yet to make a decision as to whom they will vote for. Botswana will have to foot the accommodation bill, meals and transport bills for the delegates as per the hosting agreement. The meeting has aroused interest with arguments expected to fly thick and fast as the new leadership will lead softball to its maiden Olympic entrance in 2020 at Tokyo, Japan.
The LOC is stressing the significance of delivering a world class event. “It will improve the stature of softball; BSA will now be able to negotiate with the potential sponsors who already would be aware of the potential of the sport.” Further he added that BSA will be able to build relationships with other national federations with the possibility of creating mutual relationships in the future. Local softball has registered a steady growth especially after BoFINET came on board to sponsor league. Botswana’s national team has improved rankings at the WBSC championships in Canada rankings.
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