After several years in the doldrums, Volleyball is now on course for an interesting return season.
Their league resumes on July 25, reportedly having been rescued by cellular network, Mascom.
Thirty one teams will sweat it out and it remains to be seen whether the once dominant teams will still be at the fore front or if there will be other surprise packages.
The volleyball competitions have been dominated by Mafolofolo, Kutlwano, BDF VI and Kalavango clubs.
These are the teams which made the federation when it was formed in 1979. Membership of teams has since grown tremendously over the years.
The Volleyball teams have been participating in tournaments but without a league, which stopped running and was abandoned for more than 3 years after the very same sponsor that came on board again this year pulled out.
For the past years, Botswana Volleyball Federation has been holding tournaments sponsored by some companies and was played in different parts of the country.
The Vice President (administration) of the Volleyball Federation, Modise Tlhage, said the league could not go on as they did not have sponsors and thus resorted to tournaments.
“The teams were not benefiting from the prize money, as preparations for the league are costly and that’s why we resorted to the tournaments, which are played in a short period of time,” said Tlhage. “We are yet to unveil the sponsorship with our potential sponsors, so I cannot say what the sponsors have for us.”
The 31 teams that will be participating comprise of 20 men teams and 11 ladies teams. The league is national and, therefore, will be played in different places around the country, from Kasane, Jwaneng, Orapa, Francistown, Selibe-Phikwe to other places in the south.
Tlhage said all these teams pay a subscription fee annually to the federation and are registered with the Register of Societies.
Apart from the senior teams, the federation has youngsters who are scholars and play under BISA, and also those who participate in the constituency league.
There is also a Mini Volleyball Festival, which comprises of children’s under 13 teams. However, Tlhage said that the main reason they have these youngsters is to develop interest and to have many people playing volleyball in Botswana.