After the elapse of a nine year partnership with mobile network giants Mascom, the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) will starts its domestic league without a sponsor in April. Mascom delivered a deathly blow to the BVF at the end of the season when they announced that they were pulling out of the volleyball sponsorship agreement, plunging the sport into uncertainty and a bleak future. Subsequent efforts to secure a sponsor have since proven futile and BVT was left with no choice but to start the league without a sponsor.
The league could have started before the end of this month, but was delayed after Kalavango club requested for a pre-season tournament to be played over the Easter holidays. BVF Sports Development Officer, Peace Seleka said in an interview that the executive committee is doing everything it can to ensure that the league has a sponsorship partner.
“However, we have no choice but to start the league season without a sponsor. The fact remains that we have a calendar to follow,” he said.
He further revealed that the BVF executive has been in close contact with the clubs to make them aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
“Our clubs are very much aware of the predicament that we are in, but they are ready and preparing for the new season. Teams are eager to start playing and some are busy in the market beefing up their squads,” said Seleka.
Asked if BVF will be competitive without a sponsor, Seleka said Botswana is one of the volleyball power houses in the continent and they will do everything in their power to maintain that respect.
“With or without a sponsor, we have to make sure that the volleyball league remains one of the most competitive. We intend to remain among the best in the continent,” he said.
One of the reasons cited for Mascom’s non-renewal of the volleyball sponsorship was lack of media coverage and the reduction of teams in the league, which compromised coverage countrywide.