The annual Intervarsity Games, comprising of the Universities of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, need to be revamped. This is according to the Director of Culture, Sports and Recreation at the University of Botswana, Dr Delo Akpata. Speaking at the launch of the sponsorships for the games, Akpata said when the games started more than thirty years ago, they only served as friendship and cultural exchange purposes. He said today things have changed drastically and hence the games need to be refocused.
“As all of you might be aware, the Olympic Games are a major event in the world. But looking at how it started, it was kind of a Greece affair and slowly many countries started participating and now they are a big event. I have to say that Intervarsity Games have played a major role in enhancing friendship and cultural activities between the three countries of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. And just like Greece, we have to see that they become a major event by inviting other institutions from countries such as Namibia and South Africa so that they are more competitive,” he said.
Akpata also said by the time the games started, several neighbouring countries were unstable and it was difficult for them to be incorporated. He emphasised that once many countries participate more companies can come on board and hence the brand can be big. Companies that sponsored the games are Mascom, USN, AT &T, Maitisong and Botswana Books. Mascom emerged as the main sponsor with total money of P280 000. P248 000 was in the form of cash while the other was used to cater for the logistics of the games. The official from Mascom, Odirile Mothale, said their relationship with the University does not start with the Intervarsity games. He said their relationship comes a long way. Energy drink USN will supply the university with the drinks throughout the tournament while AT & T will cater for Transport.
Botswana teams have been dominant in the games and whether they will once again surpass their fellow neighbours is something that will be witnessed throughout the games.
The games start today (Sunday) and will run until Thursday, February 28.