With curtains opening on 2017, the local sporting fraternity will be looking forward to the year with eagerness. A number of international events have been lined up to be hosted in Botswana. The first ever World Cup on Botswana soil will come in the form of the Netball World Youth Cup. Also on the cards is the World Baseball Softball Confederation Congress as well as the Diacore Gaborone Marathon, among others, that will keep the sport arena alive. Netball World
Batswana and the world will be treated to an interesting netball encounter during the Netball World Youth Cup right from Botswana on the 8-18 July 2017. This will be the first of its kind event to be held in Botswana let alone in Africa. Botswana is the first country in the continent to host this massive world youth tournament. With the world netballing community ascending on Botswana this year, locals will rub shoulders with the sport’s leading stars. Netball power house countries like New Zealand and Australia will be among the 19 of the world’s best teams that will be taking part in the tournament. Led by Prisca Mokgadi, the local organising committee has already made massive progress in preparing for the world tournament. It is expected that the tournament will leave a legacy for Botswana netball. Botswana was awarded the hosting rights at a time when the country was struggling to put together league games for netball. This has changed as the league returned last year. To many the tournament is expected to further revive netball in Botswana to its usual state. Outside the arena, the tournament has the capacity to boast the local economy. With numbers of players and officials coming into Botswana foreign exchange is guaranteed. The visitors will also boost the tourism sector with hotels getting more customers. Even local vendors will be looking to get a share of the money that is coming in. Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego has deemed this a life time opportunity for Botswana. Lebotse-Sebego has promised that they will deliver a successful tournament. The country tried its capabilities to host when it hosted African qualifiers in 2016. Even though there were some minor complaints, Lebotse-Sebego said the stage offered an opportunity to gauge if they would be able to deliver the tournament. She said with minor alterations the hosting of the World Cup will be a success.
World Baseball Softball Confederation Congress
Billed for October 2017, the World Baseball Softball Confederation Congress will see dignitaries form 154 federations coming into Botswana for the congress. It will be a great day for the local softball community as this will put Botswana softball Association (BSA) and Botswana sport in the world map. The local organising committee chaired by Jacob Sesinyi has already started its work. Sesinyi is confident that they will deliver a properly organised event. Top officials from WBSC visited Botswana in November 2016 and were happy with the facilities that country has. This gave hope to Sesinyi that the country will host a successful congress. While in Botswana WBSC/Baseball division director, Michael Smith said the congress will bring to Botswana a number of developments. He said the developments will help further grow the game of softball in Botswana. Botswana has steadily been growing in the game of softball and this provides a good opportunity for BSA to push forward.
Diacore Gaborone Marathon
This event has over the years attracted a lot of audience for the international arena and local marathon lovers are always looking forward to it. This year the marathon, which is expected to attract more than 6000 participants, will be held on 7 May, 2017. The IAAF certified event has always attracted elite runners.
The event, which is solely for charity, has been successful and continues to grow. In the past two consecutive years Diacore Gaborone Marathon raised more than P1m which was all divided among selected charitable organisations. The marathon which comprise of the 42km, 21km, 10km and a 4km race is mainly meant to promote healthy living among Batswana. As part of growing the event, the organisers of the marathon have also taken initiative to groom local athletes to produce elite runners. Ten athletes are currently in camp where they are being trained and prepared for elite competitions with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics being the focus.