Monday, January 17, 2022

Privatization at the forefront as Wrestling Federation seeks growth

The Botswana Wrestling Federation (BWF) has set in motion plans to privatize its clubs. In a move that is intended to ensure the federation’s clubs are self sustainable, the BWF, which has just returned from its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this past weekend, has now registered its clubs as companies.

Speaking in an interview, BWF President, Moagi Sharp, said the federation has since the beginning of this year, sought to deregister its clubs from being societies to being companies.

“Since BWF registered in 2010, we have always looked at privatization as the best route to take if we are to develop wrestling in the country. Our privatization aims were influenced by our views that running clubs as societies is not productive,” the BWF President said.

According to Sharp, as companies, clubs will now be able to generate income for themselves by engaging in businesses and through partnerships with other private businesses. With this in mind, the BWF President said the federation has now gone into partnership with locally based professional wrestling company, Wrestling Entertainment Championships (WEC).

Under the partnership, the clubs will send their athletes to compete in the WEC organized events, resulting with both the clubs and the athletes being paid. The partnership with WEC is also likely to help develop the athletes more especially those who seek to do professional wrestling.

“We are currently in negotiations with other professional international wrestling entertainment bodies to find out if athletes who excel in our locally based WEC events can be given opportunity to showcase their skills at the highest level,” the BWF President added.

He said, as of now, one of the wrestling bodies they are looking at forming partnerships with is the South African based World Wrestling Professionals (WWP). Already with ties to the world renowned World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) having sent its stars like Ray Leppan and Paul Lloyd Jr, as well as boasting its own shows, WWP is viewed as ideal for local wrestlers seeking international stardom. On other issues to grow the sport, BWF has also decided to embark on development of wrestling from grassroots level. As a starting point, Sharp said the federation has identified Selebi Phikwe as a place where they will start their grassroots development project.

“We have already identified at least ten schools at which to undertake our pilot project. We have already talked to all concerned and we have been given the go ahead. Our intention is that, should we get equipment, we will roll out the pilot project to junior and secondary schools before we can undertake it throughout the country,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the BWF AGM has voted only four new faces into its Executive Committee. With the President and all the additional members from the previous committee retained, the new faces in the Executive Committee are that of the Vice President Elijah Ramotapa, Secretary General Lillian Jameson, Treasurer Lesego Dichaoto and Mompati Kebotlogetse as Equipment Manager.

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