Volleyball teams registered with the national league are tottering on the brink of collapse following the mass exodus of players who are jumping ship to join the constituency league. The Constituency league which runs parallel to the national league offers better financial benefits. The Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) has since failed to secure league sponsors.
While the national league stalled earlier this year due to lack of sponsors, clubs depended on tournaments to keep players active. Regional constituency league games that were played over the weekend in Tlokweng and Lobatse attracted a number of players registered with national clubs competing in the constituency set up.
Close sources told Sunday Standard that the situation is getting out of control as players continue to lose hope due to lack of league programs to keep them in the field of play. ‘’It was disheartening to witness talented players competing in the constituency league over the past weekend. It has been a long time now without competitive games and players are shifting focus to the constituency with many more players willing to play in the set up due to consistency of the government sponsored league,” a source said.
She said clubs were struggling to maintain developmental teams as young players wanted to play where there are monetary benefits. ‘’Botswana has been among heavyweights in African volleyball and with the current situation, we will be relegated to the cleaners as there is no proper development of players due to players migrating to the constituency league,” a source said.
BVF President Daniel Molaodi said at the moment they could not offer any solution as their hands were tied. ‘’It is a fact that at the moment we have serious challenges, we haven’t made any breakthrough with regards to league sponsorship but we are talking to some companies that are willing to assist the federation. Obviously we would not want to see players lost to the constituency league but we have no choice because they are searching for greener pastures and consistency. It is not easy but hope things will change for the better,” Molaodi told Sunday Standard.
He said the challenge was that most companies do not want to sponsor the league with monetary injection but rather partner with BVF by assisting in kind. ‘’ It could be said that we are a victim of our own success as in the past we gunned down a better deal for league sponsorship that seems pricey for potential sponsors after the departure of previous sponsors. Most of those that we are engaged in talks with are willing to assist with other logistics while some believe our sponsorship request is high. The fact of the matter is that we cannot fall for less sponsorship than what we had in the past. As it stands, clubs should also assist in looking for sponsored mini tournaments to keep players active rather surrendering them to the constituency league,” Molaodi told Sunday Standard.