The University Of Botswana (UB) is sending a contingent of staff and students to participate in the World University Games.
The 25th World University Summer Games will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, from 1-12 July 2009.
The Games are the 2nd largest global multi-sports event after the Summer Olympics and over 9,000 competitors and officials from 165 nations are expected to attend in 2009.
The Games are staged every 2 years, with the last Games having been held in Bangkok, Thailand, and the 2011 Games to take place in Shenzhen, China.
The UB contingent to the games will start departing for Serbia from 25th June, 2009.
The Director of Culture, Sports and Recreation, Dr. Dele Akpata, said they are only sending two sports codes, which will be representing the UB and these are athletics and table tennis.
Athletics will have two representatives while table tennis will have four.
“Those are our strong sports codes and we chose individual sports teams because of finance problems,” Akpata said.
He further said that they had always had problems with sponsors, adding that in 2005 they sent only the athletics team, which comprised of 3 people, 1 female, and 1 male and an official.
In 2007, they sent badminton, table tennis and athletics teams.
Akpata said the Serbian and Chinese committees are helping them financially.
“We also have a partnership with orange Botswana, with whom we will be meeting next week Tuesday and will know what they are offering us”, he said. “It has become a tradition for us to present the contingent to the Vice Chancellor before they depart for the games and therefore we propose next week Tuesday, for the presentation.”
Akpata also said it is at the presentation that they intend to recognize those who have provided support for them towards the games.
At the moment, they have sponsorship from the university.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Akpata conceded that they had never won any silverware at the World University Games but he is hopeful that their athletics team will get something.
“The athletics team has proved their mettle regionally by performing best and I am confident that they will strive to get something,” he said.
It is an excellent opportunity, he said, for performance athletes to experience the challenges of competing at a major multi-sports event. Some of the sports codes which will be staged include: soccer, basketball, swimming, diving, table tennis, fencing, tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, judo, and water polo.