For the third year running, the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) has not had a league sponsor but that has not deterred the continuity of the game. This year, there have been reports that some of the senior players who used to play for the national teams have called it quits. Paper Club’s women team is understood to be hard hit and is struggling to field a full squad ahead of tournaments and then rely on students.
Some weeks ago, the club failed to pitch up at Orapa for the Bridgestone tournament that was organized by one of the clubs, Carats. The club organized the tournament following an agreement called “Ipelegeng” or ‘self reliance’ between the clubs and the association. Since there are no sponsors for the league, clubs look for sponsorships that are then used for the benefit of the clubs in the form of tournaments.
BSA President, Marumo Morule, told Sunday Standard that the league is a year round affair and needs more money than the tournaments, something which they are trying to get their potential sponsors to appreciate.
“The companies want to sponsor the league with the same amount as tournaments, we can host a successful tournament over the weekend with P60 000, but we fall far short with the league. You must understand that our league is in four categories, the south region; men and women leagues and the North region; men and women leagues. For any sponsor willing to help us they must provide adequately for the four leagues even if it means having four separate sponsors for the individual leagues,” Morule said, also adding that they were going to get the same amount as with tournaments, winning teams could end up pocketing a mere P1000 as prize money which is why they have resorted to tournaments in the time being.
Morule said that tournaments are by far more competitive than the league. As a result, clubs are faring badly in regional tournaments. Softball South Zone Committee Chairperson, Godson Motsumi, said that softball is not only struggling to find sponsorship here at home. He said internationally the sport continues to struggle. So far Softball has been dropped from the Olympics, alongside Baseball.