Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

7 March 2008

Botswana: BVF Gets Japanese Sponsorship

Gaborone — The Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with a South African-based company, Pat Wiltshire Sports on behalf of Mikasa Japan.

In the partnership, Mikasa, through Wiltshire will sponsor national volleyball teams with merchandise worth P150,000. The merchandise include Mikasa balls, tactic boards and uniforms. The agreement was signed by BVF president Tsoseletso Nkala and Wiltshire managing director, Pat Wiltshire, in Gaborone on Wednesday night. At the event, the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) chairperson Dorcas Makgato-Malesu launched the Mikasa ball. Local sports wear company, JB Sports Botswana, helped to get the sponsorship for BVF. Wiltshire is the sole distributor of Mikasa products in southern Africa.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, JB Sports Julian Mathew said his company was proud to be associated with volleyball. He promised that they will continue to help BVF whenever they can. "Volleyball has become our role model and we are proud to be associated with you. It is your hard work that has taken Botswana volleyball to the prestigious level," he told BVF. Mathew reminded volleyballers that every sponsor demands accountability. He expressed hope that the partnership will be fully utilised to benefit both parties. He asserted that there is need for a partnership between government and private companies if Botswana is to build a strong sports foundation. He said the government cannot make it alone.

Makgato-Malesu congratulated volleyball for securing a sponsorship outside the country. "We never thought it was possible to get a sponsor outside the country, that is such a big achievement and you should be proud of yourselves," she said. Makgato-Malesu is the chief executive officer of the government agency charged with attracting foreign investment - BEDIA. She took the opportunity to invite Mikasa to consider establishing a branch in Botswana. "You should use your relationship with BVF to explore more opportunities," she told Mikasa.

Meanwhile, BVF development officer Boitshwarelo Motlogelwa said national teams do not have any assignments this year. This means they will only start utilising the sponsorship next year.

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