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Netball struggling with World Cup sponsors

Efforts to lure sponsorship from the corporate community by the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) and Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the anticipated World Netball Youth Cup (WNYC), is not bearing meaningful fruit and has left the committee very frustrated.


The WNYC competitions slated for July this year are expected to be a spectacle of note into local sport history books, hence the organizers are desperately in need of support. Speaking in an interview this week, the General Manager of the LOC, Tebogo Kesupile, revealed that spanners are however at work and progress is on track for the games, with the main undoing being reluctance to sponsor the event by the business world.


“The main challenge we are facing is the dragging of feet by the private companies to help us in this momentous occasion. Remember it is not netball but rather Botswana thing, so we are appealing to all of them to come and help us in this activity,” she pleaded.
However, she hinted that they will be unveiling one of few partnerships next week. Kesupile however could not reveal the number of companies that have partnered with them so far.


With the private world displaying their usual culture of dragging feet when big events descend locally, the LOC is pinning their hopes on both Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and the International Netball Federation (INF) who by far are offering a meaningful support.


“For example if we want to engage with an important stakeholder like government, we liaise with BNSC because they are our parent. As for INF they are publicizing the event on their website, they help us in designing brochures to create awareness and they provide us with their officers who are of a much importance to us,” MmaK, as the administrator is fondly called, said.  


Ministry of Youth empowerment, sport and Culture development has committed P15 million to help both on team preparations and the games. Minister Thapelo Olopeng, has in the past urged Batswana, particularly the corporate world, “to support the games financially and by whatever means at their disposal.”  


Apart from sponsorship dry-out, Kesupile highlighted that rehearsals for the world spectacle are going on smoothly. By far, she said, the procurement of technical equipments which are paramount for the games is ongoing. “By procurement, I am referring to both purchasing and or leasing some equipment, like sprung floors, posts, score boards and radio communication system, so overall we are on the right path.”


She continued to add, “We learnt from the qualifiers that the post rings were little bit small hence we need to improve on that to conform to the international standards.” Two sprung floors should be acquired with a single floor estimated to cost around P1, 5 million while other materials are also on procurement process. The venues to be used for the tournament will be UB Indoor facility and Ditshupo Hall. The LOC is still pondering as to where various nations will conduct their daily training sessions; only two options; UB and BONA courts are dominating the thoughts of the decision makers.  


The local team which is doing ‘fine’ on the preparations has been pitted against Jamaica, Uganda, Malaysia and Cook Islands in group C. The technical team however is faced with a challenge of unavailability of players.
“Some are schooling and others are working, so it is little bit of a challenge,” Coach Botlhole Setshedi-Mmopi said in a brief interview on Wednesday.

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