Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) has not yet given up on securing a sponsor for the national league as they still busy trying to strike some deals with some companies in order for the league to be staged. Since BVF has been using the April-November league time from most pundits have ruled the possibility of staging the domestic league this year as they believe time has already passed. However the volleyball governing body believes they will resort to the August-March league format provided they secure a sponsorship deal with any of their negotiating partners as early as this winter season.
BVF was dealt a heavy blow last year when Mascom ditched them without renewing their partnership which dates from years back. That left BVF and teams in the lurch considering that this year is a hectic one for volleyball when it comes to international tournaments therefore is was very vital for the country to have running domestic league in order to keep players more especially national team athletes busy and active. Though Mascom seemed to have been impressed by the league towards the end of last year one thing that might have turned away the mobile network company away is the fact that the league games were not receiving coverage on national television so they believed they were not getting value for their money.
According to BVF Vice president -Administration Ndibo Lebala, all is not lost as they are still trying harder to bring on board some new partners. “We have not yet given up on staging the league; though the normal starting time has passed we can still explore the idea of August-March format which aligns with the international calendar of volleyball. But if it fails then we will resort for the cup tournaments because our national teams need the league to perform better at the international competitions. Negotiations are very promising it is just that sometimes these companies can raise your hopes and then change on the way but we do have high hopes for the best. Something will come up,” said Lebala.
The teams will soon be heading All Africa Games qualifiers which are slated for Mozambique from the 30th of May until the 7th of June where both teams will battle out with the rest of Zone VI region countries to secure a spot for the games. The teams will then head to the Africa Nations Cup which will be held Tunisia for ladies from the 5th-15th July while men’s competition will be staged in Egypt from the 20th -30th of July. The Arica Cup also acts as a qualifier to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We have a partnership with Slovenia which is still on the cards and the good thing is that it is fully supported by Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports & Culture Development. We are going to send out two teams there for training in Europe in preparation for all the upcoming activities mores especially the Olympic Qualifiers. But now the problem has been securing Visas because one has to apply for Egyptian visa then spend about 16 days there to obtain Slovenian visa. We recently found an alternative route through Italy so the visas for the delegation will be done on the 9th of May with the delegation expected to depart on the 22nd,” said Lebala.