The Diamond Trading Company Botswana (BTCB) has given the Botswana Deaf Sports Federation (BDSF) P306,000 for the inaugural National Deaf Games to be held on February 23 and 24 at the UB Stadium.
Speaking at the sponsorship launch in Gaborone this morning, the Botswana Deaf Sports Federation (BDSF), president Shirley Keoagile expressed her gratitude as she said the sponsorship would be a morale booster for the ‘ignored’ section of the sports community.
“Whenever there are international games, we have always been left out. The deaf community is always crying, why we are left out. The sponsorship gives us hope and make us feel part of the community. It is not always about the money but we have to show support to the deaf community. Athletes are there but nobody has stood up. I am grateful that today DTCB has stood up. I promise that the funds will be used for their purpose and we will account for them,” she said. For his part, DTCB corporate communications manager, Kago Mmopi said they responded to a ‘SOS’ call from BDSF hence, they saw the need to lend a hand.
“We are aware of the challenges faced by the deaf society and we acknowledge the efforts used to close the gap. We have come in response to a call from the federation. We are informed that the
Challenge. This shows commitment from the athletes and officials in sports development hence the need to be encouraged more,” he said. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Kago Ramokate lauded DCTB for their contribution, as he said the government is currently faced with overwhelming task of
funding the development of sports in the country. “As the ministry, we are always pleased and excited when the private sector lend a hand in sports development. It is our daily bread as the ministry to fund sports but we cannot succeed alone.
"We hope that this will plant a seed in all deaf people in Botswana, so they come out and participate to make sure that their disability is not any form of inability,’ he said.
Eight teams from around the country will participate in different sporting codes that include, netball, football, volleyball and athletics. The games will be used to select the national team that will participate in regional and international games scheduled for later this year.