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BSA announces Extravaganza teams

Publishing Date : 10 July, 2017


Botswana Softball Association (BSA) on Tuesday announced the teams that will participate at this this year’s edition of the Selebi Phikwe Softball Extravaganza Tournament.

The announcement follows last weekend’s qualifiers where teams fought against each to book themselves a spot in the country’s most prized softball tournament. The tournament will be held in Selebi Phikwe on July 15 – 17, 2017. The tournament which is held under the auspices of BSA and it is a premier event on the BSA calendar which features 16 top teams from north and south of the country to battle for the P75, 000 prize money in both the men and ladies category.

The participating teams include the defending champions for both men and ladies categories being BDF IX and Police IX respectively as well as home side, Comets which are perennial participants by virtue of being the hosts.  Under the men’s category, the North will be represented by Comets, Ghetto Yankees from Francistown, Rebels from Orapa and Rail Giants from Mahalapye. The south will be represented by BDF IX, Panthers, Police IX, all three from Gaborone as well as Wells International from Jwaneng.

Comets, Carats from Orapa, Scramblers from Francistown and Rail Giants from Mahalapye will represent the North in the ladies category while the south will be represented by BDF, Panthers, Police IX and Wells International. For the south, the boys qualified alongside their girls, an exciting pattern that will see the south represented by the same teams under both the male and female category. From North, only Comets and Rail Giants have both its teams participating.

The 2017 edition however will take place against the backdrop of financial challenges emanating from the closure of BCL Limited which was the parent sponsor of the tournament. The majority of the tournament sponsors where companies which were in business with BCL. Following the closure of the mine, nine of the 16 sponsors withdrew their support, the Tournament Director, Dan Mahupela told the media recently.

Mahupela said that the tournament which was started eight years ago, kicked off with a P50, 000 budget and has grown over the years to the current budget of P650, 000. He pointed out that despite losing many of their sponsors, the remaining seven have enabled the tournament to continue. The remaining sponsors are KOMATSU and Bridgestone which are the longest and faithful sponsors since from the beginning, Puma Energy, Stanlib, Investec, Bitek and Boitekanelo.

Mahupela thanked the sponsors and paid a special tribute to Bridgestone, a tyre company based in South Africa which has seen the need to invest in sport development in Botswana. “We want to make Selebi Phikwe to remain at the centre of sport development and we are grateful to Bridgestone which saw the need to invest in sport not only in their home country but internationally,” said Mahupela.

The first and second prize money will remain the same as last year at P75, 000 and P40, 000 respectively. The prizes have increased by P2, 000 from third position to eight. The third prize will be P28, 000 while fourth position will walk away with P23, 000. Position five and six will be awarded P18, 000 and P14, 000 respectively while the last two positions will go home with a consolation prize of P12, 000. The overall budget for prizes and awards that include the Most Valuable Player, Best Slugger and Best Outfielder stands at P454, 000.

Daniel Mahupela pointed out that despite a shortfall in sponsorships, prudent financial management practices made sure that the surplus from the previous tournament bridges the gap to ensure the smooth execution of the tournament. Meanwhile, SPEDU which has since taken over as the parent sponsor of the tournament says the development of Sport Tourism is envisaged to pump life into the dry economic veins of Selebi Phikwe despite being a comparatively new concept far away from mining which has been the lifeline of the town for over forty years.

SPEDU’s Director of Strategic Projects, Jazenga Uezesa told the media  that they have partnered with Selebi Phikwe Softball Extravaganza to use the tournament as a launch-pad to identify the positive impact that sport tourism can make as a developmental initiative to revive the economy of Selebi Phikwe. Apart from supporting the Softball Extravaganza tournament, Uezesa revealed that SPEDU has also partnered with Selebi Phikwe National Marathon to help push their mandate of laying a foundation and leading the economic diversification through sport and events tourism.

The Director stated that Selebi Phikwe’s economy can be improved by hosting of regular sporting events as sport has increasingly taken a significant position in the economic and social growth of Botswana. Apart from Softball and Phikwe National Marathon, SPEDU has been supporting the Dr Kim’s Charity Golf Tournament that is also held in Selebi Phikwe.



Do you think the closure of BCL will compel SPEDU to double their efforts in creating job opportunities in the Selibe Phikwe?