- BCF notes that Metropolitan goes back 15 years as a chess sponsor
- National Chess Championships are a key feature of the chess calendar
Insurance-based financial services company, Metropolitan Botswana, lastweek (Thursday) extended its union with Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) by sponsoring the national chess championship tournament with P152 800, The Business Weekly Sports can reveal.
The last time Metropolitan sponsored BCF was in 2020 with P90 000 the same tournament of that year. “Metropolitan has been one of our biggest sponsors for more than 15 years,” said the Secretary General of BCF, Mokwaledi Tingwane, in a telephone interview. “The sponsorship has been consistent over the years.
“Our annual tournament has been successfully held over a number of years through Metropolitan sponsorship that has gone a long way in enhancing the reputation of our national championship. It is one of the most anticipated events on the local chess calendar.” Tingwane added that the Metropolitan sponsorship has played a pivotal role in nurturing local talent. “It has enabled us to see a lot of young players conquering the SADC region as well as Africa at large, which gives us hope that soon enough we will be a force to reckon with,” he said.
“The quality of games through this sponsorship has also prompted us to broadcast them live to thousands of chess players and enthusiasts all over the world. The broadcast will be done by Skymouse consultants, which is a company run by chess players. Because of the Metropolitan sponsorship, our national championships have become a veritable brand.”
He noted that BCF is grateful for the sponsorship because it is important for every National Sports Association to host sponsored national championships. “This gives players motivation because they look forward to cash prizes,” Tingwane said.
“We are grateful to Metropolitan because despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they found it fit to continue supporting us. This sponsorship will also drill our players for upcoming national team events.” Meanwhile, last month BCF held national team selections for the team that will represent Botswana at the Chess Olympiad that has been organised by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE). The Olympiad comprise open and women’s tournaments, as well as several events designed to promote the game of chess. It will be held in Chennai, India from 28 July 2022 to 10 August 2022.
The players who will represent Botswana at the Chess Olympiad and other national events include International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse, Gomolemo Rongwane, Bojosi Sabure, Oratile Kgotlane and Keletshabile Monnatsheko who will all participate in the men’s section. The women’s team is made up of Women Fide Master (WFM) Besa Masati, WFM Naledi Marape, Women Candidate Master (WCM) Natalie Banda (WCM) Arona Mashoboro and Ruth Otisitswe (WCM) . The reserves team includes Goabanone Tangani and WCM Refilwe Gabatshware.
Tingwane said it is in BCF’s mandate to organise a training camp for the team in the coming weeks in order to prepare early for the Olympiad and national team events. “We have intensified our search for sponsors for that camp,” he said. “We do not want to rely solely on grants from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) because we appreciate their financial difficulties, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic era. Soliciting sponsors is to aid us prepare a mighty team in order to make the nation proud.”