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Boteti Regional League Appreciates Sponsorship

CHAKALISA DUBE
The chairperson of the Boteti Regional League Association, Phillimon Bunu (left) handing over a token of appreciation to Lucara representatives
FRANCISTOWN: The chairperson of the Boteti Regional League Association, Phillimon Bunu has said the sponsorship from Lucara Botswana has made the region’s Division One league competitive and attractive.

Bunu was speaking at an appreciation ceremony to thank Lucara for sponsoring the league on Friday. In 2019 Lucara sponsored the regional association’s Division One league to the tune of P500,000.

The sponsorship is for two seasons. It ended recently. “Since the sponsorship was launched, we have seen younger players shunning the constituency league in favour of participating in the regional league. They know that playing in the regional league is fairly rewarding,” Bunu said. He noted that some teams that participated in the constituency league have also joined the regional league because they now find it attractive as it has a solid sponsor.

He explained that in the upcoming season the number of teams will be increased from 10 to 16 adding that there is a strong possibility that when another team joins the league, the region will now have a Division Two league.

He added: “The attendance of our matches before the COVID-19 era was very impressive because the league is very attractive and competitive. Since the launch of the Lucara sponsorship, the standard of refereeing has also gone up because our referees are fairly remunerated, something that motivates them to excel. We have had referees from as far as Francistown sending requests to be enlisted in the league. This shows that our league is very attractive.”

Furthermore, Bunu said because of the

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high level of competitiveness in the league, one  of the region’s teams fared better at the play-offs. “Our team (Perisa Football Club) that made it to First Division North play-offs (at the end of the 2020/21 season, which was ended before time because of COVID-19, did very well but lost marginally. I am very optimistic that if Lucara could renew the sponsorship, we will inevitably promote more teams to the First Division,” Bunu said. He disclosed that the association will open talks with Lucara for the renewal of the sponsorship.

Lucara general manager, SHE and Community Relations Manager Ewetse Mathaba said the company is impressed by the manner in which the funds for the sponsorship were utilised. He stated  that the mine will continue investing in initiatives meant to improve sports development in the region.

From the sponsorship, each team received two sets of kits for home and away matches per season. Referees also got two kits per season.  The league champions receive P15,000 cash. The kits for the second season were procured but are yet to be disbursed because there was not much football activity for the 2020/2021 season owing to COVID-19. In addition, the bulk of the money for the second season of the sponsorship was  also not used to assist a team that had qualified for the play-offs.



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