Nothing in Sight for Return of BVF League
• COVID-19 dims hopes of securing sponsors further • Volleyball needs over P1 million to be run a league • The last volleyball league game was in 2018
With the country at the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like it will be a while yet before the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) national league can hope to return.
The BVF national league has more than two years without taking place after their union with Mascom Wireless ended and was not renewed at the end of 2018. BVF is facing the same predicament in cup competitions for which there is also no one coming forward to sponsor the tournaments. JB Sports has been one of their sponsors for tournaments in recent years.
According to BVF president Daniel Molaodi, the COVID-19 pandemic is making it even more difficult for them to secure sponsors for their league. “When 2020 began, we had a programme to resuscitate our federation,” Molaodi said in an interview. “It included things like rebranding as we aimed to position our federation in such way that it would attract sponsors. And it was working.
“But then COVID-19 came along and disrupted things. Companies that were promising to sponsor our league began to cite the pandemic as the main challenge.
Some said they were channelling their money towards helping the government fight the virus while others reported not creating enough revenue due to the virus.”
Even so, they will not despair but will keep looking for sponsors, Molaodi told The Business Weekly Sport. “We have decided to turn our attention to companies that have never sponsored any sporting code before,” he said. “But it is going to be difficult to lure them because our league, which runs for about six months, needs more than P1 million.”
However, according to Molaodi, even if they get lucky and secure sponsors, it is still going to be tough for the BVF league to return with COVID-19 is still around. “Adhering to protocols is going to be a great challenge,” he said. “Let us take testing as an example. Clubs will have to test regularly during training and competitions, adding to costs. We could be forced to aid them financially when there may be nothing in our coffers. The Botswana National Sports Commission has stopped our grants because they too are broke.”
And then there is the problem of players being laid off for a long time. “They are going to come back rusty and they will have to begin zero,” he said. “It might be problematic for them to dish good performances instantly.”