Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) in the recent Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) sports awards received three accolades.
The BCF president, Mothokomedi Thabano won the sport administrator of the year, Besa Masaite won the Junior Female of the Year and the federation took the National Sport Association of the year award.
The BCF unveiled a new sponsorship partnership worth P30 000 from the Unimoni Botswana for the youth chess championship. The other recently secured sponsors by BCF include Kobe Trading, Collins Chilisa Consultants, and Pick ‘n Pay to name a few, which were adding to Debswana and Air Efficiency sponsorships.
In an interview with the BCF public relations officer (PRO), Jady Tatolo, she said the grant that the BCF receives from the BNSC is not enough to cover all the chess competitions and activities that BCF wants to host every year.
The BCF leadership went on a mission to secure and acquiring more sponsorship from independent private companies to enable their activities to take place.
She narrated that unlike other codes, the BCF hosts chess competitions from the grants they get from the BNSC or private sponsorships every weekend of the year to keep the players engaged and for the young upcoming players to gain necessary experience and exposure.
Tatolo observed that sponsors want to associate with codes and administrators that win awards and have coverage so sporting codes must work hard.
She added that sponsorship is a partnership, which means the sponsor must get value for their money and the code that is being sponsored should be seen doing things right. She said that BCF is banking on their achievement to retain their sponsors and working on more coverage to market their sponsors.
“The BCF leadership is more hands on, in the development of chess because all the executive committee members have the perspective of a player as they were chess players. BCF committee appreciated the efforts that the previous committees have done in the development of chess in the country.
“Previous BCF leaders have laid a foundation that the current committee is continued to build success on. There are some sponsorship that have been there since all the previous committees so the current leadership is adding on,” explained Tatolo.
For his part, former BCF president Tshepo Sitale, said chess leadership always have a strategic plan in place thus their success. Sitale who is now seating in the Botswana National Olympic Committee board observed that the BCF committee is more engaged in the development of the code and work harmoniously together.
He explained that the previous and current committees consult each other so there is continuity within the leadership. He urges BCF members to continue doing well and focus on grassroots level because the strength of sport is investing in youth development.
Chess is one of the most successful codes in Botswana which continues to grow in terms of athlete development, administration and in attracting new sponsors.