The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) delegation of executive directors were impressed with the progress that Botswana Softball Association (BSA) has made thus far in preparation for the confederation’s congress.
This follows the delegation’s two two-day visit to the country last week to inspect the proposed venue for the congress in Gaborone next year.
The delegation, which comprised of Michael Smiedt and Ron Radigonda from the WBSC head office, was briefed on the progress of the WBSC congress preparations by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson Jacob Sesinyi.
The duo then toured the city of Gaborone alongside to assess infrastructure and all other requirements that has to be met by the host nation prior to the event that is expected to accommodate more than 150 nations worldwide who are the members of WBSC.
The proposed venue for the congress is Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) and Grand Palm Hotel.
Speaking to the media after the inspection tour, WBSC Executive Director Smidt said they were pleasantly surprised by Botswana’s efforts.
“We are impressed with the hospitality we got upon our arrival and we had the opportunity to meet the people who will be involved in the congress. We had a site inspection of the venues and we found a first-class events and congress centre and we are very happy everything looks very good and we applaud the BSA for their efforts,” he said.
He further stated that this would be a big opportunity for Botswana to showcase its potential and capability to the world in order to get the much needed recognition.
“Opportunities like this one always gives the country a chance to shine worldwide and we believe Botswana will benefit a lot from that in all aspects. We are also thrilled to see the good working relations amongst the BSA and its stakeholders, including the government and the sport commission and we can’t wait to host our congress here next year,” added Smidt.
Smidt also highlighted their intensions as the Softball mother body to leave the legacy in Botswana after the congress in their quest to implement Tokyo 2020 Olympics programmes which will benefit the softball fraternity at large.
“We think Botswana softball is number one in Africa and it is important for us to launch more development structures in the country so that it becomes the brand model in Africa in softball and baseball. We are aware that in Botswana they only specialise on softball and we think they can also grow beyond their capabilities and we vow to support them wherever they might need us,” he stressed.
For his part, Sesinyi said it was important to have a blueprint that will guide the LOC and help them to define ways of working and aligning themselves with structures of Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and WBSC especially preparing for an event of this magnitude to meet all the requirements.
“The key success to this event is to ensure that we use the time between the bid and the congress very constructively and this means various stakeholders and parties have to work together in order to make the event successful. We have our first draft that will guide us throughout the process, we have identified possible risks, opportunities and challenges so that we get ready on how to deal with them,” he said.
“We have identified key streams and we are working around the clock to execute them. We also have to look on the legacy that this congress will leave in Botswana and if we deliver a successful congress surely it will improve the stature of BSA amongst its key stakeholders,” he said.
The WBSC directors left the country this past Friday and are expected to give feedback to the whole WBSC executive body to map the way forward in assisting BSA where there is need.