Thursday, July 18, 2024

WGW to the rescue as BWF wrestles with financial problems

Delays in accessing the already paltry grant monies from the Government has left many local sports federations living from hand to mouth.

To add salt to injury, there is also always an uncertainty over when federations can access the grants. These circumstances unfortunately jeopardise the execution of the federations’ key sport development programs.

They also highlight the critical need for national sports to find alternative sources for funding. One of those disappointed by this is the Botswana Wrestling Federation (BWF).

“Unfortunately, we are unable to estimate timelines for when funding allocations will become available at this time. This uncertainty has made planning our project difficult,” BWF president Moagi Sharp reveals.

The delays mean the federations also have to delay the beginning of their yearly calendar of events as they wait for government funding to be availed. “The only international matches we played were friendly games against Namibia in 2015, 2016, and 2017. We do not have enough finances as a starting code, and the funding that we have been provided is insufficient,” Sharp laments.

As a result of this, BWF is finding it difficult to purchase even the most basic equipment needed to train athletes. This has left them trailing behind some of the other organisations they started their programs with.

“We cannot afford equipment to help athletes grow so that they can play in games. We developed our athletes concurrently with Namibia. They have already won at international level and we are yet to achieve that. If the BWF is given the opportunity to send competitors to compete worldwide, we will do well,” the BWF president says.

To mitigate some of these challenges, BWF is teaming up with United States of America based World Gladiator Wrestling (WGW). Led by pro wrestler and producer Nick Cara, the WGW seeks to assist the BWF develop its athletes.

“Next month, Cara and other wrestlers will visit Botswana. He will send a wrestling ring in which the federation will participate in various activities. We will collaborate with WGW to assist athletes with advanced talents in professional wrestling,” Sharp explains.

The BWF president says the visit by Cara and the WGW superstars leave a lasting impact on the country and will benefit local wrestlers, more especially as they prepare for regional competitions.

One of these competitions will be in December when Botswana hosts Southern African countries to compete for a belt title. The competition will be held in Francistown and Gaborone respectively.

Meanwhile, in July, the federation will hold an election congress. All posts remain unfilled until then. Sharp states that this is his last term as he is still developing contenders. He says he intends to relinquish his BWF presidential post but has yet to find a suitable candidate.

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