Saturday, May 30, 2020

Kgosimore pleads with the business community

In the 1990s, Thato Kgosimore was regarded as the finest tennis players to come out of this country.  He was a prominent name within tennis circles for almost 20 years. He was even sent to Auburn University in the United States under the Elite Scholarship to pursue a degree in Finance.

In the past decade, many people have been wondering what could have happened to him after finishing his studies, especially that most athletes have come back to serve in different sporting codes upon completion.

Until recently, his name had been almost forgotten within sports circles. When the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) announced new appointments, the name of Kgosimore was amongst the trio that included Steady Basupang and Bobby Gaseitsewe.

Kgosimore’s name rang bells in the ears of many people who have been following sports for years. But this time around he is not coming as an athlete but, instead, as the new Business Development Manager at the BNSC.

His main role will be to attract sponsors to the council in order to have sustainable finances to run the day to day programme of the council.  Luring companies to partner with the council is a tall order as it has proved possible in the past.

While his appointment might have come as a shock to many people, to the 36-year old it comes as a challenge to give back to the sports fraternity. Kgosimore believes that it is through sports that he is where he is today.

“Business development is a new portfolio within the council. In a way, it’s a new addition to the marketing department which has been there. I understand the challenges of my role because we need to make our own money rather than depend on what is allocated to us by the Government.┬á We need to be self-sufficient and I must say that I respect what my predecessors have done,” said Kgosimore.

Kgosimore pointed out that he is excited by his new role, especially that he has sports background. He has no doubt that he has a capable team, which would ensure that they bring in more to the council as expected by his superiors. The good thing, according to Kgosimore, is that he has a very supportive team, which is already helping him to settle.

”Through my position, I would be happy if I helped to empower different codes to be self-sufficient. It would be nice if our affiliates can be able to go out there and partner with different companies. They should be able to make their own money apart from what they get from us,” he continued.

Kgosimore has appealed to the corporate world to get close to sports, promising that they will get rewards. He believes that Botswana sports has grown tremendously over the years and all they need is the support of the companies out there. He said it is not nice for companies to come into the picture when they want to share success of a certain sporting code.

“The companies must be involved in the development of our sports heroes by investing their money. The media must also play a part in promoting sports because it is the way they portray us that would encourage the business world to put more money in sports,” he said.

Though he has a demanding job at the council, Kgosimore hinted that his love for tennis is an undying one. He cited the recent US Open men’s final between Andy Murray and Nolan Djokovic as the best he has watched in recent times. He said Murray left a last impression in him for defeating the Serb in that action-packed clash.

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Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.