Wesbank

Costs deter motorsport enthusiasts

SHARE   |   Sunday, 20 July 2014   |   By Ontametse Sugar
Reikeletseng(right) launching Mabille of Teamscoot in Gaborone Reikeletseng(right) launching Mabille of Teamscoot in Gaborone

In developed countries motorsport is a sport that has blossomed and attracts a lot of sponsors for the competitors, but the expensive individual sport that many Batswana have begun to embrace is really hitting them hard on their pockets. They can only rely on companies and individuals to assist them in helping them participate in events to develop the sport. Before the Toyota 1000 Desert Race local participants struggled with financial support despite that some corporates extended assistance to some of the competitors.

This then leaves many local racers with many damages since they will then not have anyone to fund them in carrying out the repairs as they prepare for other competitions or even long term sponsors who can sustain them for a while in a long term contract.

One of Botswana’s quad bike racers who is a also the spokesperson for Gaborone Motor-club Motsumi Lekone highlighted that a good relationship with the sponsors is essential in order to ensure that they will keep supporting them in many races even after the dessert race.  He said this in reference to his loyal Bontleng Engine filling station that has been sponsoring him for 5 years.

“As for me right now I am still negotiating with all my sponsors on what we can do and how they can help me as I prepare for a race next month in South Africa. Right now I need about 20 thousand pula for repairs because I have a crank bearing which makes the bike seize and it hits the piston. The entire engine needs to be done and it needs a lot of things to build it up again,” Lekone commented.

Lekone stated that the costs involved in racing are the ones that turn many people away because the costs to register and even set up a vehicle or the bike for racing are intense. He referred to this as a sport that people should be ready when getting to it because it is straining financially and thus the need for many sponsors.

“Our sponsors should always understand that in this sport there is an aftermath and mostly with gruesome results and they should also help us in that aspect. Normally after a race other racers will have to wait and not take part in other competitions because once again somebody has to look for sponsors. This is killing our sport here at home and that is why Batswana doesn’t fair well in international competitions like the just ended Dessert race even though it is at home.”

Lekone bawled that as Motorsport they need annual sponsors in order to help the local racers progress forward.

Mogrey Mabile who always represents Botswana in the dessert race riding a car shared the same sentiments with Lekone that sponsors normally opt for the dessert race because of the race quality, and not helping enough in other races. He mentioned that right now the car that he was using needs about 300 thousand pula worth of repairs because of the major damages that he incurred.
He noted that right now he is currently running around looking for sponsors and in preparation for his race next month in South Africa on the 8th and 9th called the Sun City 450 race.

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“In a year I need a minimum of 1.5 million pula to be able to take part in all my races, and I always have 9 races. This 1.5 million pula is only when the car does not have major damages, so with major damages the money becomes way too high,” Mabile said.