Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Dikgang Phillip Makgalemele has urged the team that is representing Botswana in the ongoing Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations Games (CUCSA) to do its level best in order to make the nation proud.
The CUCSA Games commenced yesterday (Monday) and are scheduled to come to a conclusion on Friday. Team Botswana entails students from local universities affiliated to Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA). The games bring together tertiary students from nine Southern African nations, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Kingdom of Eswatini, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Malawi and Namibia who all come out to tussle against each other in the field of play.
“As you go out there and compete, know that you are not competing for yourselves but every Motswana will be right behind you, cheering you on as you will be lifting our flag high,” said Makgalemele during the team’s sendoff ceremony held in Gaborone on Sunday.
Botswana finished second at the CUCSA games held in Zambia in 2014 before finishing third during the 2016 games which were hosted by Zimbabwe. “I am therefore hopeful that this year we will be champions of these games as we raise our national flag high and make our country proud,” stated Makgalemele.
He encouraged team Botswana to take sport serious as it contributes to self-development, perseverance and of course good health. “It also shapes people and teaches them to handle winning and losing,” he said.
For his part, Sonnyboy Sethibe who forms part of the Local Organizing team for the games advised the team not to undermine themselves as they were selected based on their credit. He encouraged the team to work together as that can be vital in them doing well, “mutual respect, cooperation and communication will also take as far.”
The games will this year feature 10 different sporting codes in Athletics, Soccer, Netball, Volleyball, Basketball, Rugby, Table Tennis, Tennis, Chess and Darts.
Meanwhile First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) availed a P3 million sponsorship to BOTESSA, last week to bankroll the tertiary students sports body at the rate of P1 million every year until 2021.
Speaking at the sponsorship launch FNBB CEO Steven Bogatsu revealed that the bank has much commitment to help build the future of Botswana sports by supporting the development of talent in tertiary institutions. “At FNB we believe in nurturing talent and we are passionate about the development of youth in sports. So we believe that supporting sports at grassroots level will provide athletes with the platform to fully utilize their skills and propel them to the international stage,” said Bogatsu.
He further noted the need for the private sector to come on board and assist the government in the development of sports as it contributes immensely to economic growth. “Through these sponsorships, athletes will access topnotch facilities and equipment which will help improve their performance,” he said.
This sponsorship comes in the backdrop of a recent magnanimous gesture by FNBB where the bank rewarded athletes and coaches with a total P185,000 after top drawer performances by the local team at the Commonwealth games in Australia and awarded them a total of P 185 000.