The national softball men’s team that finished in the coveted Top 8 at the just ended 2017 World Base Ball Softball World cup in Yukon, Canada is expected home this week. The Botswana Softball Association (BSA) suffered a great set back ahead of the WBSC world cup recently held in Yukon, Canada.
After a series of mishaps, national team left without its Head of Delegation Tirelo Mukokomani. The HoD portfolio is regarded high internationally because the individual is expected to liaise with authorities when there are challenges. The challenges maybe foreign affairs interventions, meeting authorities at the visited state if need arises. The team has exceeded expectation by making it into the WBSC competition top 8 for the first time in history.
BSA president said the HoD arrangement was not his but has been set within BNSC policies. “I can’t go to details about that because I have compiled a detailed report to the BNSC chairman Solly Reikeletseng”, said Mukokomani. BSA president believes the presence of the team at the world stage was exceptional. “They did not just do well, their performances were outstanding, considering the fact that the last time we competed at that stage was in 2009”, explained Mukokomani. The local lads missed the 2011, 2013, and 2015 world cups and other international competitions like elite 8 where most of the top teams usually compete.
BSA president is confident his administration has built softball to be a sport every business would love to be identified with. BSA is yet to hold its annual general assembly, which was supposed to be in April but could not due to lack of funds. The association is also expected to host its ordinary general assembly before they host the WBSC general assembly in Gaborone. BSA has been given about P800 000. The government is expected to support the association deliver a successful assembly. Mukokomani believes there are more stories surrounding his HoD status than just the money. “It’s just about per diem to an ignorant mind, there is more to it than that”, explained team Botswana HoD. BSA secretary general Gloria Gaosikelwe who travelled as team manager had to double with HoD duties.
The 2017 local softball league ran smoothly though there were allegations that the association failed to pay scorers allowances. The association is rumoured to have sideline scorers who asked questions and resorted to utilising scorers from the disciplined forces. The league has nine scorers in the south and only three were used during the league games. A softball match is officiated by three umpires and two scorers, with one scorer on standby. BSA trained umpires and graded umpires while scorers are yet to receive formal training to determine their grading.
WBSC baseball and softball directors Michael Schmidt Baseball Division Executive Director and Softball Division Executive Director, Ron Radigonda visited Botswana last November. The WBSC Congress, which is an elective one, will be held in October 2017. The baseball and softball global body has a total of 142 members. The two codes have been readmitted into the Olympics family, the first competition being the Tokyo, Japan 2020 games. Botswana and South Africa are the only active softball countries in Africa.
BSA partnership with their league sponsor BOFINET is the only one in the country that both parties managed to combine their efforts to develop infrastructure for the sponsored. The local WIFI provider sponsored the sport for 3 years to the tune of P1, 5m per season. The P500 000 is reserved specifically for the upgrading or developing the association`s resources. The bulk of this money was invested in installing light and laying turf at the diamond park in Gaborone.
The association has 3 years league sponsorship from BOFINET; Japanese embassy partnership resulted in the Asian country providing the association with a coach with expenses paid for. The association also managed to install lights and lawn at the Gaborone diamond park. BSA will be the first Africa Association to host the joint assembly for both baseball and softball.
The LOC is made of Chairman Jacob Sesinyi, Thato Jansen from BOFINET is the vice chair, BSA vice president Katlholo Mosimanegape, BSA publicity secretary Kelebogile Seitei, former BSA president Marumo Morule, Security and protocol Montwedi Simon, Peter Kesitilwe takes care of funding and Elsie Sesinyi. Botswana in recent years hosted a number of major sporting events, ranging from the COSAFA U20 cup, the 2014 African youth games, and Volleyball region 5 games and netball hosted a few African qualifier and recently world cup qualifiers.