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Bank Gaborone sponsors cycling race for P173,000

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Bank Gaborone Managing Director Cortzee handing a cheque to BCA president Mmetla Masire PIC: TSELE TSEBETSAME
Bank Gaborone will sponsor the Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) National Championships for P173,000.

The championships will be held at the Airport Junction on November 5. The bank’s involvement in cycling started last year, when the commercial bank funded the HE/MD Cycling Challenge. Managing director of Bank Gaborone, Sybrand Coetzee said they believe in the growth of sport in Botswana. He said there is also an increase in interest in cycling.

“We want to enrich the lives of Batswana by associating with sport. The event will speak to the government agenda of seeing Batswana participating in international events as it is the case with the national championships, whereby the winner will compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Coetzee said during the sponsorship launch last week.

BCA president, Mmetla Masire said they have taken the national championship to another level especially that they have partnered with Bank Gaborone.

He said the association had fully funded the championship.

“The focus was on looking on the professional side of the sport and determining who is the best and deserves to be the national champion. With the introduction of the bank, we have opened up the event. It is now a bigger event and not discriminating anyone,” he said.

Masire said initially they were going

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to provide medals, but now they are going to include financial incentives.

He said since it is a national championship, it is only right not to be missed. He said the championship brings with it honour and pride.

“Not everybody is going to be a national champion. It is a scarce thing. As a champion, you are recognised internationally. It also allows you access to certain events. You are also exempted from some qualifications for some races you want to do,” Masire said.

He said the champion also gets international rankings that can be utilised as the sport continues to grow.

Masire said the national championship is used to select members of the national team.

For his part, Botswana National Olympic Committee chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said cycling has shown growth over the years. He said the code was able to send a team to compete at the Youth Commonwealth Games that were held in Bahamas.

Championship categories: Men Under 23, men’s Master-140km, women elite/men junior-90km, women junior/men under 16-60km, men open/women open (19 years and above)-30km and corporate by invite-30km.

Registration forms are available at Cycle Base, BK Cycles and all Bank Gaborone branches country-wide.



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