Selebi Phikwe — Dust and adrenaline rush will be the order of the day when the 11th edition of the annual Selebi Phikwe Softball Extravaganza kicks off at three venues this weekend.
A total of 16 teams (eight men's and eight women teams) from north and south would meet at Mowana Ball Park, Makhubu Ball Park and Selebi Phikwe Technical College.
First prize would be P40 000 while teams in second and third positions would pocket P30 000 and P25 000 respectively.
Men's teams comprise Wells, Rebels, Carats, Panthers, Mahalapye Rail Giants, Comets, BDF and Police while women teams are Scramblers, Comets, Bears, Panthers, Carats, Titans, Rail Giants and Police.
The softball spectacular would start with hosts Comets taking the field against Mahalapye Rail Giants.
Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Oeme Morupisi, told a press conference on July10 that while only 16 local teams will participate in this year's tournament, plans were afoot to invite international teams next year.
Morupisi indicated that they were faced with financial challenges and thus pleaded with companies in and outside the SPEDU region, for succor.
SPEDU communications manager, Sheila Moribame-Moakofi, added that the tournament was expected to help revive the Selebi Phikwe economy.
"The games will boost the hospitality sector, transport, food outlets and small businesses," she said.
Moribame-Moakofi said SPEDU's decision to collaborate with Komatsu and the council in sponsoring the tournament was part of their mandate to promote sport tourism.
Nevertheless, she implored other sponsors to partner with them to improve the region's economic vibrancy as well as help to grow the tournament.
SPTC representative, also LOC member, Keipeile Aron said the council would continue to support such events.
Aron indicated that after the BCL mine closure, the council and SPEDU took responsibility to ensure that all activities that used to be hosted in the mining township continued.
"These activities help boost the local economy of the copper mining town because they bring in a lot of people," he said.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>