Botswana Softball Association has edged out Uganda and won the bid to host Africa senior women softball qualifiers to the world baseball championships (WBSC) which are billed for next year February.
The BSA President, Katlholo Mosimanegape expressed his delight to have been afforded the opportunity to host other African countries, adding that it will go a long way to fast-track and boost the development of softball in the country.
“We have been successful in our bid to host, it is a delight for us and we really feel honored to have been given this responsibility. This is the second time we bid for an event and be successful, remember we bid and won to host WBSC World Baseball Softball Congress back in 2017 and successfully delivered as expected,” Mosimanegape shared.
“This time around the history of our previous engagements at this level shows we are capable and we appreciated this recognition of our efforts and contribution in the sport,” he added.
Despite late notification to host the games from the African Softball governing mother body, BSA managed to submit the bid before the set deadline on the 15th September, 2022. The BSA bid was also followed by virtual presentations by the president to the continental body to further argue their case to host the games and they have since been successful.
Asked on their readiness to deliver a successful event which they have been tasked to host in less than four months, Mosimanegape noted that they were aware of the challenge when they submitted their bid.
“Well this is a very short time, the expression of interest was made late in September but we made the bid and we were aware of this challenge, we were aware of issues of hospitality, readiness of facilities so forth and so on.
We engaged with Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), as the custodians of sports in the country and they approved our bid and vowed to support us to successfully host the games,” he said. The BSA president revealed that plans are already underway to lure partners and sponsors to help the association.
He said they have already submitted a proposed list of individuals who will serve in the Local Organizing Committee to the BNSC and are awaiting approval before the end of next week.
The cost to deliver successful games is reported to be in the region of P1 million as visiting countries will be taking care of the expenses incurred to partake in the games.
Furthermore, Mosimanegape went on to highlight the importance of hosting the games, adding that it will go a long way to impact the economy of the country through sport tourism and boost the development of the local game.
“Other African countries will be here, and this is not just for softball but for Botswana sport in general, it will boost the tourism sector and who knows, some individuals may go on and set up investment and businesses in the country. This shows that sport can play a critical role in the economy of the country and not just rely on minerals,” he added.
“Our kids who are still at ‘RE BA BONA HA’ [developmental stage] will have an opportunity to watch first-hand the competitiveness of the sport at a continental stage and this will build their interest and they will also learn a lot which will benefit us going forward—there are also legacy programs in place so this is really a good opportunity for us,” he said.
Archien Hardware injected at least P250 000 into the coffers of BSA to deliver the Independence cup finals with the winners walking away with P20 000.
The BSA president highlighted that, hosting the games will also be an opportunity for their sponsors to sell their brands across the continent which will further demonstrate the power of softball. A few months ago the national senior men’s softball team failed to qualify for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball World Cup 2022 but the team showed tremendous effort before succumbing to a 3-4 loss to hosts South Africa.
The BSA women team will compete in the games in February and will be banking on using home advantage and support to qualify for the world finals.
Botswana and South Africa are amongst the top ranked teams in Africa but Mosimanegape added that although they expect the local ladies team to do well in the qualifiers, they will not take anything for granted.