Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) in effort to support the Botswana Deaf Sports Federation (BDSF) has sponsored the upcoming First Deaf National games to the tune of P306 000. The games will be held on February 23 and 24. .
Kago Mmopi, Corporate Communications and CSI Manager at DTCB, said the sponsorship towards BDSF is to help the organisation to host the very first ever national games for the deaf in Botswana.
He said deaf have been sidelined over the years; hence their sponsorship to the federation. Mmopi said the federation’s president Shirley Keoagile knocked at the corporation’s doors late last year prior to the preparations of the games, asking them to support them.
“The deaf athletes have the potential to compete against the best, having evidenced the deaf netball team winning a championship against the South African counterparts in 2017. This sponsorship comes at the right time when BDSF has made a significant progress in ensuring that deaf disabled people are engaged and empowered through sport,” said Mmopi.
Mmopi was optimistic that other private sector entities will come on board and financially assist the federation in other future endeavours.
Keoagile expressed deep gratitude to DTCB for the sponsorship, bemoaning lack of sponsors to the federation.
She said the deaf athletes has not been effectively taking part in the regional and international competitions such as the Paralympics and Olympics because of lack of exposure to the local organised sporting tournaments as a result of lack of financial muscle.
“Deaf athletes have the ability to win medals for the country in big competitions, hence this help by DTCB will enable the athletes to realise their dreams to the fullest. Moreover, I urge other stakeholders such as the media to support us through full coverage of the games and further telling stories of the athletes who are highly talented as well,” she declared.
Keoagile is also hopeful that more companies will follow the noble gesture shown by DTCB to sponsor the federation on long term basis.
Other sponsors to the games include Oasis Motel which has offered accommodation to the athletes for free, Vincent Excellent Tours to transport the athletes and University of Botswana which has availed their sporting facilities for free. The first ever national deaf games will attract eight teams across the country’s deaf based centres with competitions in four (4) sporting codes of football, athletics, volleyball and netball.