With the extension of club licensing requirements to the national first division looming, Botswana Football Association (BFA) CEO Mfolo Mfolo said certain aspects of the game in that league needs improving. Players’ safety especially concerning first aid has always been a cause for concern. It is for this reason that Debswana saw it fit to donate P220 000 towards first aid for the 24 national first division teams. Mfolo views this development as a step in the right direction for the first division teams to prepare well in time for the coming club licensing requirements. He said BFA is planning to extend these requirements to the first division in the next coming season. “Next season club licensing will be rolled out to first division so they have to prepare well in time,” he said. Mfolo said they want to see safety improved even at the first division. He said it is BFA’s desire and expectation to see what is happening at the elite league be extended to the national first division leagues. Debswana Head of Corporate Affairs Rachel Mothibatsela said the welfare of players in the pitch has been a cause for concern, hence they saw the need to provide first aid kits. Mothibatsela said at Debswana safety comes first and so it has to be even for the players. She said the donation is Debswana’s enhancement of the current sponsorship deal for first division. The donation covers 24 first aid kits which Mothibatsela said will include stretchers. She added that this also has a provision for first aid training for team personnel. “Debswana pride itself with the development of football in the country. This, therefore, is our reaffirmation to continued sport development in Botswana,” she said.
For many years Debswana has always been committed to the development of sport local. According to Mothibatsela, the company has splashed around P17 million towards sport development over the period of six years. Of this P17 million, a chunk went to grassroots development with Botswana National Sport Commission getting P6.5 million for Re Ba Bona Ha programme. Another P6.5 million went to BFA, P2 million for 2012 London Olympics teams and P1.2 million for World Netball Youth Cup team. Other sporting codes that benefited includes Chess (P300 000), volleyball (P500 000) and the special Olympic team (P708 000). First division sponsorship committee chairperson Mpezeni Sambandawe thanked Debswana for their continued commitment to the growth of the league. Sambandawe said since Debswana came on board there has been a significant growth and change to the first division football. “Debswana is really doing a great difference in improving our game. We appreciate their continued support they give us,” he said. He said first aid is a necessity for players and that the kits will ensure their safety at all times. Sambandawe also called on the teams to make use of the resources availed by the sponsor in a right way so that they can continue to enjoy more.