Last week was a joyful occasion when Japanese Ambassador Masahiro Onoshi gave a grant to the Botswana softball association.
Karate and judo has been one of the beneficiaries in the past years.
Onoshi said the grant of US$65 331 US is being given to the softball association through the Japan government scheme called “Grant Assistance for Cultural Grass Roots Projects and Sports for Tomorrow” programmes, whose aim is to promote Olympics and Paralympics around the world.
Onisho said that this project was for better training facilities for the players as well as a fully fledged stadium for official games. He said the project that was being offered to the softball association would contribute to the skill development of the player in the country.
Onisho further said since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games had added women softball and men baseball, the Botswana women softball team stood a greater chance of taking part as he hoped it would train effectively at the refurbished softball stadium with the equipment provided through the grant.
Onisho went on to say that Aiko Nakamura, a JICA volunteer who also happens to have played for the Japan women softball team at national level and is also a coach has been assigned to share her skills and techniques with the Botswana women’s softball team and hoped the team would gain from her
He said it was unfortunate that the men’s softball team was not included in the Tokyo 2020 but hoped that they would utilise the grounds and the equipments as well to enhance their skills.
Onisha thanked the Botswana Softball Association for their cooperation as well as the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng, the Botswana National Sports Commission and the Botswana National Olympics for their support,
BSA president Tirelo Mukokomani said with this grant it would improve the skills of the players and their eagerness in the sports.