GABORONE, Botswana, March 2020/ — Botswana’s Olympics dreams to have more athletes competing at this years’ Tokyo 2020 might be hanging by a thread as time is fast approaching. However, this has not deterred other sporting codes to dream on. The latest on the Olympics’ radar is the new Botswana Volleyball Federation’s (BVF) beach volleyball men’s team which is expected to fly to Gambia for the 2020 Olympic Games beach volleyball qualifiers in Banjul scheduled to take place from 12-16 March 2020 at Palma Rima.
This will be the third time Gambia will host a CAVB sanctioned event after successfully hosting Zone II Olympic qualifiers in December 2019. Kenya, Mauritius, South Sudan, Botswana and host Gambia will battle for the two spots available to grab in Group C men to the final round of the qualifiers.
When launching the BVF beach volleyball development plan in Gaborone last week, the BVF President, Daniel Molaodi said in the last five years since his federation started beach volleyball they have improved tremendously and already show signs of becoming world beaters.
“Our teams have qualified for the second phase of the Olympics and the team have to go to Gambia in a fortnight to try their luck. In our region we have Mozambique and South Africa and the newcomers are Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We applaud the competition in the zonal region because for us to be competitive we need a competitive region to ensure that we progress,” said Molaodi.
Meanwhile, Molaodi assured the stakeholders that the federation would run the two types of volleyball concurrently as also a tool to place volleyball on pole position to solicit sponsorships and partnership.
In his presentation, Tumelo Lekolwane of Botswana’s beach volleyball commission shared his development plan adding that Botswana is moving rightfully to grow the commercial value of the beach volleyball by creating more activities.
He emphasized that in the last 5 years they also held a coaching clinic, which was held in 2016 in Gaborone with a total of 26 participants.
“When we first started we had to cultivate minds because of Botswana’s landlocked placement as people were dismissing beach volleyball because we don’t have a beach. However now the trend has gradually changed as our make-shift beach has attracted more fans, patrons, stakeholders alike,” narrated Lekolwane.
According to the beach volleyball development plan, the BVF’s wing needs an estimated P1.4m annually to run their calendar of events.
Furthermore, Botswana National Olympic Committee acting CEO, Wedu Motswetla commended BVF for their commitment of developing sport as perceived by the beach volleyball prospect.
“With the beach volleyball in Botswana, some sport pundits had their own conclusions, however it’s quite commendable to see the progress they have achieved thus far in their short time of competitions. They will need support of sponsorships and so we appeal to companies to come and brand through sports.”
She however cautioned BVF as they embark on a sponsorship overhaul that having a decorated document does not translate to exceptional execution therefore they should work hard to entice more sponsors.