Botswana Tertiary Education Schools Sport Association (BOTESSA) teams have depleted as financial constraints continue to hit the association. This comes as BOTESSA is preparing for the Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sport Association (CUCSA) games billed for Zimbabwe.
The games, which start today, the 31st of July and end on the 7th of August in Bulawayo, pits student athletes from different tertiary institutions across Southern Africa. The student athletes compete in various sporting codes, including Netball, Volleyball, Football, Chess, Karate and Basketball, just to mention a few.
Information reaching this publication is that some players were dropped from the BOTESSA teams without any appropriate communications from the BOTESSA hierarchy, despite being selected from the selection that was staged in UB last month.
“I am one of the players who were left out even though I was initially selected and I was not even told anything that I am not going, there was no proper communication from the association which is not fair and I am not the only one and we are so disappointed, they could have at list communicated and we could have tried to dig deep from our pockets” said one of the concerned players.
When reached for a comment BOTESSA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Duncan Sekgabo said indeed they are facing a serious financial challenge within their association which deterred their schedule which he deemed a “total mess”.
“unlike in the past few years, it is too tough on our side this time around. We do not have enough funds to provide for all of our athletes who we initially selected. We tried to engage their institutions to assist in covering their travelling expenses but our attempts were not successful and we don’t know what to do anymore because time is of essence as the tournament is upon us,” he said.
He further stated that they are working around the clock to come up with plans on how to tackle the issue and they have involved some tertiary institutions to lend a helping hand for us to resolve the issue.
“In this case we need to consider our priorities in terms of teams or sporting codes that matters most in this competitions rather than not sending any team at all. We have cut some of the players that were not supported by their institutions in terms of funds because games of this magnitude are expensive,” added Sekgabo.
While BOTESSA had initially planned to travel with 200 athletes who did well in the previous selection, they however only managed to cater for 146 athletes who have been on camp since the 26th of July at Serowe College of education.
“All codes will travel to Zimbabwe but we have trimmed down the squad in every code to reduce the costs and we are hoping that the team we have at our disposal will represent us well even though we suffered some few setbacks which we consider a learning curve. We are hoping that next year things will be better than ever” he concluded.