Debswana, Botswana’s biggest diamond mining has always prided itself in helping the country’s sporting diamonds shine. The company has over the years helped to polish and bring the shine out of the country’s raw sporting diamonds by sponsoring the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Re BA Bona Ha grassroots development programme.
Like all other big local companies however, the mining giant had fell short in one glaring instance. While taking pride in local track athletes and offering incentives for good performances, like the others, it had failed to help them prepare for major events.
Not anymore! The mining giant is putting its money where its mouth is. With Paris 2024 Olympics beckoning, Debswana is putting money into athletics to power Botswana to glory. The company announced last Thursday a historic three-year sponsorship of P9 million towards Botswana athletics. At the same time, it announced the continuation of its sponsorship for Re Ba Bona Ha programme.
“In recent international tournaments, athletes have shown that with proper support, they could compete at the highest level and deliver silverware,” said Debswana Managing Director, Lynette Armstrong when unveiling the sponsorships.
Debswana’s contribution to sport was also not lost to the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) Tumiso Rakgare. He noted that throughout the years Debswana has been investing in Botswana sport. As such, he said the country has been able to ‘mine, polish and cut’ sport talent and in the process enrich the nation’s fortunes in sport.
“It has been proven over the years that there are no shortcuts to success in sport. The recent success of our athletics team at the World Junior Championships 2021 Kenya is a clear indication of the important role that grassroots development plays in ensuring success,” Rakgare said.
Highlighting that the success comes through the injecting of financial support that allows athletes to prepare without any set back but focus only on their performance.
In addition to this, Rakgare noted that with the high rate of unemployment, sport maybe a source of employment for athletes through proper investment in grassroots development.
“A challenge we are faced with is exploiting the full potential of sport to positively impact lives across our countries. Botswana is facing a challenge of youth unemployment and despite efforts by Government to create opportunities, such have not been enough. Therefore, the role of the private sector and those such as sport can never be overemphasized,” he said.
With this said, sport has grown to show its importance in varies ways, from a source of entertainment, health benefit to a source of employment. It is just right to invest in sport as it does not only benefit the athlete but it also benefits the country at large.
It has been proven the years that with great performance from the countries sports man and women, follows investment from across he globe with hope of attaining some sort of greatness too.