Okavango Human Wildlife Conflict Foundation (OHWCF) in conjunction with the Botswana Golf Union (BGU) will this Sunday host a golf tournament in Kasane at Mowana Golf Course that aim to raise funds to victims of human wildlife conflict in Ngamiland and Chobe.
The tournament, dubbed ‘The Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention Charity Golf Cup’ will bring together professional and non-professional golfers representing participating companies across different parts of the country.
The tournament will be held under the theme, ‘Stakeholder Partnerships towards the Human and Wildlife Coexistence.’
BGU President Modiri Phuthego has said they intend to liaise with different stakeholders that will be taking part in it in order to create awareness and encourage them to take part in the sport.
According to Phuthego, the golf sport in Botswana lags behind in terms of growth because of the lack of support and certain stereotypes associated with it. He stressed that many people perceive golf a rich man’s sport hence denying themselves and the young ones the opportunities it brings forth.
Phuthego said they are making efforts to engage parents and various stakeholders to create awareness around the sport.
He stated that it was only this year that the union managed to send of eight junior athletes to represent Botswana at the all Africa Junior Golf Challenge that was held at Cairo, Egypt from 26 March to 1 April 2022. Phuthego noted that unavailability of golf facilities in schools, and its low uptake are still some of the great challenges that restrict the development of golf in Botswana.
“There are only eight golf grounds locally which are located in Gaborone, Orapa, Jwaneng, Selibe Phikwe, Francistown, Sowa Town, Kasane and Lobatse, this means that only those close to the facilities are the ones who benefit from them,” Phuthego noted.
He further revealed that about 20% of the funds that will be raised from the tournament will go towards the golf development program. He explained that their intention is to cultivate golf interest and development in different parts of the country.
For his part, OHWCF Chairperson, Gakemotho Satau said the main objective of the cup is to raise funds to support victims of human wildlife conflict especially those who suffered injuries in such encounter.
He said that they also intend to promote golf sport by bringing it closer to communities, in an effort to dispel perceptions about the sport. Satau stated that some of the victims of human-wildlife conflict have been left physically handicapped therefore they are unable to put food to the table and struggling financially.
He revealed that the funds generated from the tournament will help the victims to establish their own business and other projects that can improve their livelihoods.
Satau added that besides the golf tournament, there will also be the boat cruise and a charity gala dinner. He stated that the golf tournament winner will be announced during the gala dinner and there will be monetary support for them.
According to Satau, they have proposed the event to be held annually between the regions that are affected by human-wildlife conflict. He revealed that the event will be included in the Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) calendar of events for it to attract tourists and international stakeholders.