The cash strapped Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) has received a P300 000 sponsorship from JB Sports to fund a volleyball tournament for both male and female categories.
The much needed competition is slated to start on the weekend of 11th – 12th and 18-19th November with preliminary to quarter finals played in Lobatse and the finals in Molepolole.
The women’s category include nine teams in two pools. The Group A rooster lists Kalavango, BDF VI, Dynamites and Selibe Phikwe while Group B has Kutlwano, Mafolofolo, Yaros, Spiking Stars and Magstimela.
Thirteen men’s volleyball teams will participate in four Groups, with Group A featuring Police, Itekeng, Yaros; Group B has fixtured Diphatsa, Prisons, BDF VI while Group C has Spiking Stars, Kutlwano, Desert Kings and Group D pits Mafolofolo, Kalavango,Magstimela and Tanian. Group A and D games will be played in Lobatse while B and C games will be staged in Molepolole.
JB Sports Managing Director Julian Matthews said the aim of the sponsorship is to reclaim the quality of professional volleyball in both Men and women categories because BVF cannot reach its full potential without the support of government and business community. He said they have partnered with the federation to sign a proper contract of agreement to re-launch the official ball (Mikasa from Japan) which follows after they had suspended the program due to lack of cooperation.
Matthews has requested Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and the Ministry of Youth Sport (MYSC) and Culture leaders to fund the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) to construct an indoor court in Gaborone so that volleyball tournaments are hosted in international standard venues.
Matthews said “Every time we have to approach various institutions to hire a court to conduct tournaments, BVF has a piece of land next to the stadium but is not developed. I urge the MYSC to treat the matter seriously and lobby government for a budget to develop the plot’.
For his part BNSC CEO Kebapetse Gaseitsiwe said “when our players participate internationally, they are usually rusty because there is no league. We should work on lead coaches, we have not been able to secure coaches, and we have to develop our own local head coaches so that we do not depend on external assistance. We have to continue supporting volleyball junior teams, the executive and other structures to ensure sports development in the country.”
The sponsorship amount will be allocated in different sections of the tournament, P163 000 will go towards the cash prize awards while the balance of P137 000 has been earmarked for equipment and other expenses. The team that qualifies for the first position will receive a trophy and P17 000, the first runner up will get a trophy and P12 000 while the second runner up will walk away with a trophy and a P8,500 cash award.
All participating teams will get trophies and cash rewards ranging between P7, 000 and P5, 000. Match officials at all stages of the tournament will get a P20 000 reward. Trophies and medals will also be awarded to players in different categories.Semi finalists will be given a JB Sports Volleyball Kit for the semifinals and finals.