Selebi Phikwe — Organisers of the annual Selebi Phikwe Softball Extravaganza scheduled for the President's Day Holidays has roped in teams from South Africa and Zimbabwe to make the tournament competitive.
The softball extravaganza, which commences on Saturday is sponsored with close to half a million Pula.
Chairperson of the local organising committee, Oeme Morupisi said at a press briefing on Tuesday that champions would walk away with P60 000, gold medals and a trophy in both male and female categories.
The runner-ups will receive P40 000 and silver medals and third place achievers will take home P30 000 and bronze medals.
All participating teams, he said would not walk home empty-handed as they would be pocketing P10 000 for being part of the event.
"Usually 16 teams being eight female and eight male teams take part in the competition.
However this time around, there will be a total of 19 teams being 10 men's teams and nine female teams," he said.
He explained that the number of teams participating had increased in that Bats & Balls Softball team from Zimbabwe will be bringing in a male and female team while Vaal University of Technology from South Africa would be represented by a men's team.
Teams from north league that will participate in the women's category are Comets, Scramblers, Sua Raiders and Carrats while Wells, Vikings, UB Giants and defending champions Police 9 will represent the southern league.
In the men's category, Rail Giants, Comets, Carats, and Rebels will represent north league while Gatalamotho, Wells, Police 9 and Bears Softball Team will represent southern league.
In total, he said 44 games would be played."This year, in the women's category, Bears Softball Team, which has been a hard nut to crack and winners of the extravaganza a couple of times will not be participating in the prestigious competition," he said.
"Similarly, in the men's category, BDF 9 will not be available to participate. This means that fans will miss out on BDF 9 best pitcher and the number one in the country, Kagiso Mogapi's fast and rigorous pitches."Mogapi, who is currently playing in Canada, was also rated the number two fastest pitcher in the world at the World Series that took place last year.
During the World Series, the balls that he pitched were estimated to move at a speed of 149 km/hour giving batsmen a tough time.
Also during the softball tournaments and leagues in Botswana he had proved to be a nightmare to his opponents on the field helping his team BDF 9 to win.Morupisi explained that SPEDU and the Selebi Phikwe Town Council (SPTC) were part of the local organising committee.
For his part, Samuel Aaron representing the SPTC said the idea was to promote sport in Selebi Phikwe.
He noted that facilities and grounds that would host the games had been rehabilitated.
Lesedi Lungu from SPEDU explained that SPEDU was the main partner in the tournament.
She thanked partners in the event such as Komatsu, Estate Construction and SPTC for playing a significant role in the softball extravaganza.
Source : BOPA