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Debswana First Division League Officially Launched

Debswana Diamond Company and the Botswana Football Association (BFA) launched a P6 million sponsorship of the First Division League (North and South) on Tuesday 9th April in Gaborone. Through the Debswana Corporate Social Responsibility Investment (CSI) programme, the P6 million sponsorship will be used to administer the league and cover a three year period with P2 million disbursed annually. Eighty percent (80%) of the funds will go towards football clubs, covering the payment of teams transport and accommodation, players’ welfare and teams’ management while twenty percent (20%) will go towards administration costs amongst others. As part of ensuring accountability and equitable disbursement of funds, the 1st Division Committees and Clubs will undergo capacity building workshops, including financial management.

The sponsorship was launched by, among others, the Chairman of the Debswana Board of Directors Mr Eric Molale, who is also the Permanent Secretary to the President. The ceremony was attended by Debswana Board Members, the Managing Director of Debswana Mr Jim Gowans, the President of the Botswana Football Association Mr Tebogo Sebego, BFA National Executive Committee members, leaders of sporting organisations, Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), De Beers, Debswana Pension Fund, Botswana Diamond Manufacturers Association and GIA Botswana management.

Launching the sponsorship, Mr Molale said, “I believe this sponsorship will go a long way in aiding the 24 clubs that constitute both First Division North and South after a barren period in terms of sponsorship which posed an immense challenge for the clubs to maintain their operations and improve players’ performance. I also believe it was not any easier for the administrators to run a competitive league without sponsorship. We believe this sponsorship will increase competitiveness in the league bringing throngs of fans to the

Launching the sponsorship, Mr Molale said, “I believe this sponsorship will go a long way in aiding the 24 clubs that constitute both First Division North and South after a barren period in terms of sponsorship which posed an immense challenge for the clubs to maintain their operations and improve players’ performance. I also believe it was not any easier for the administrators to run a competitive league without sponsorship. We believe this sponsorship will increase competitiveness in the league bringing throngs of fans to the football pitches, attracting team sponsors as well as challenging players to reach their highest potential”.

BFA President Mr Tebogo Sebego said the grants to the 24 teams will transform the 1st division by “reducing the financial strain that the teams currently experience for them to participate and compete in the League”. He revealed that provisions for things such as Referees’ fees and management of accounts will allow teams to run their affairs professionally and in a manner consistent with a commercially oriented outlook. The President said one aspect of the sponsorship, “which in my opinion is truly progressive, is that a full time resource person will be employed to manage the division’s activities. This aspect is of critical importance to the credibility and integrity of the sponsorship”.

Giving a vote of thanks on behalf of the North and South Divisions Mr Sam Keitireng, Acting Chairman of the First Division South said, “This sponsorship is not about the money Debswana is injecting into our league, rather it is about how the First Division league will uplift the standards of football in our country”.

Esther V Kanaimba
Group Manager: Public & Corporate Affairs (Debswana)
ekanaimba@debswana.bw

Or

Phakamile Kraai
Marketing and Communications Officer (BFA)
kraai@bfa.co.bw