Financial constraints have forced the Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA) to reduce the number of teams that were to participate at the on-going Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sports Association (CUCSA) competitions held in Lilongwe. Malawi.
The association dropped the men’s volleyball, women’s soccer and basketball teams from participating at the competition that commenced on the 29th August to 03 September. According to BOTESSA Vice Secretary General, Botho Thobega Covid-19 had a negative impact on their budget, hence the decision.
Thobega said while the decision was a difficult one that would reduce their chances of winning more medals, they had no choice but to drop the three teams.
‘We believe that if our men’s volleyball team had a chance to participate it would have won some medals because it has more potential. Going forward we have resolved that only the sporting codes with high potential will participate in the competitions as it is the case in other countries,” Thobega told Times Sports.
A total of 74 Batswana students from 20 tertiary institutions will participate under different sporting codes that include athletics, chess, tennis, volleyball, basketball, football and netball.
For athletes to qualify for the games, BOTESSA had conducted three selections, one in the Northern region, another one in the Southern region followed by the final selections for both athletics, indoor and outdoor games that were held in Gaborone and Serowe respectively.
As part of its preparations for the games, Team Botswana had an official camp that was held in from the 22nd to 25th August and the send-off ceremony was held on the 25th. The CUCSA games official opening ceremony was held on Monday.
The last time BOTESSA took part in the CUCSA games was in 2018 when Botswana hosted the games in Gaborone.
CUCSA was established in 1989 under the auspices of the Supreme council of Sports in Africa zone IV with a mandate to provide an environment that stimulates development of sports in member countries, provide regular competitions among members states, raise standard of performance through training programs and to foster friendly relations among students and staff members by encouraging sports contacts at all levels.
Through the games universities within Africa gather and compete in various sporting fields including football, chess, basketball, athletics, netball, volleyball and tennis.