Flames basketball team in Francistown will on the 27th to the 29th of March this year host a charity event dubbed “Basket Ball We Care” in an endeavour to raise donations and assist the underprivileged people in Francistown. The event will be held at Francistown College of Training and Vocational Education (FCTVE) and various basketball teams from Zimbabwe and Botswana are expected to participate.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard on Friday, the Manager of Flames Basketball team, Tiro Serumola said that they felt the need to engage in charity events as a way of giving back to the people of Francistown. He said they are currently seeking sponsorship from the business community in Francistown such as food hampers, clothing even money.
“Despite the fact that we are struggling as a team in terms of sponsors, we decided to do a charity event as a way of giving back to the community. We are also trying to send a message to the people out there, especially the youth, that sport is very important and can help change lives. We are working with the Francistown City Council to help us identify those who are in need,” he said.
Serumola said that it is not the first time that they had a charity event as they also held another charity event in 2012 dubbed “Free Alcohol Basketball Tournament” where they sensitised the public especially the youth on dangers posed by alcoholism. He said playing sports is very important as it can keep the youth from the streets.
“During this charity event we also raised donations from various sponsors and the proceeds were used to help the SOS children in Francistown. The event was a success as we had the support of other basketball teams in Botswana,” Serumola added.
Touching on the state of basketball in Botswana, Serumola said the sport is growing in leaps and bounds as compared to the past. To prove its growth, he said Botswana participated in a game with Mozambique recently.
“Although we did not win the game, the performance displayed by our players was very impressive and it showed me that there is a lot of basketball talent in this country as well as growth,” he added.
He however said the problem retarding sports in general in Botswana, especially basketball, is lack of sponsors. He said in Francistown as an example, their team merely depends on donations from individuals and this negates on their progress.
“We currently have a lot of out of school youths in our team, but the main challenge we have is that we do not have enough funds to cater for their travel expenses for league games. We are appealing to the business community in Francistown and even around the country to help us,” he said.