Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Chairman Solly Reikeletseng is a man on a mission. The BNSC boss is currently busy trying to address the thorny issues of insufficient sponsorships plaguing the local sports industry in Botswana.
Speaking in an interview recently, a determined Reikeletseng said there is need for a policy that will dictate terms for corporate businesses to invest in Sport. “One of the ways to do it is to say, within the profits that companies make a certain percentage of that must be poured towards the pool of sports,” Reikeletseng said.
“A percentage of the income tax and the company tax must be put aside for sports, performing arts and culture, which will ensure that we develop the creative arts. Reikeletseng further mentioned that resources are limited in sports and the P56 million they receive from the annual budget through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture Development is not enough to sustain local sport and consequently more money needs to be injected into Sports.
“You find that there are European and South African companies in Botswana who only invest in their own countries but they will not invest anything in our country while we actually ensure that they are profitable. All these companies should be guided by a policy to take a fraction of their earnings and invest into sport.”
Moreover the BNSC boss said there is need to develop policies in order to achieve these goals. “The act of the BNSC must empower us to come up with more policies, we have to lobby the private sector, the government and all the influential groups so that we can get those policies approved, we are currently pushing the government to ensure that all is realized.” Sport in Botswana is currently struggling with sponsorships currently misplaced from most of the sporting activities, sporting codes are now caught wanting with sponsors nowhere to be seen.
Sporting codes like Volleyball, football, Table Tennis, Boxing, Tennis and Cricket have been wallowing in uncertainty with several sponsors turning away from them. A lot of these codes have been left in the dark with limited activities since the vanishing of sponsors like water evaporating from a boiling pot. Football spectators have missed the Football Association (FA) Cup for five years since their long time sponsors Coca Cola turned their back on them, the last time the tournament was played was in 2012 when the national football team the Zebras qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time in history.Football pundits may argue that the demise of this tournament forms part of the dust that has been neighboring the national team, as the team has dismally failed to produce viable results since the 2012 AFCON showpiece.
Nonetheless Volleyball has also experienced similar fate after their darling sponsor Mascom Wireless took a turn away from their direction, the volleyball fraternity has faced a drought season with only the BMW Capital Motors being the only tournament to be staged this year.
With teams like Police VI (Men) and Kalavango (Women) expected to play in the Zone 6 championships in December it is obvious that the fitness of the players will be up for questions with lack of volleyball activities having been limited this year.