It has been three years since Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) had a running league, and the man at the helm of the Executive Committee Daniel Molaodi, believes their four-year stay as BVF drivers was not all doom and gloom.
This is despite the many accounts from players and officials expressing their displeasure at the lack of volleyball league action in over 48 months.
Since Mascom who for many years had become synonymous with the code stopped their sponsorship, the federation has failed to find a new sponsor.
Lack of sponsorship crippled what was regarded as one of the best performing sport codes in the country.
In an attempt to resuscitate the sport two low-key tournaments were organised in 2019, but that too was not enough.
This lack of action has resulted in a dramatic drop in the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) rankings.
As of April 2020 the women’s national team were ranked 75th out 220 teams in the world and seventh in Africa., a significant drop of nine places.
The men’s team was ranked 79th out of 131 teams in the world and ninth in Africa, dropping 15 places.
The drop in rankings is a direct result of lack of financial resources to host national competitions and/or regularly compete in regional and international competitions,” said Molaodi.
“Before the advent of Covid-19, three of our best female players were plying their trade in Rwanda, and we also had a male player in Kuwait,” said Molaodi.
The BVF President further told Voice Sport that they also managed to set up beach volleyball structures and scheduled to host grassroots beach volleyball coaches and referees courses.
Molaodi further said they also refreshed their brand to make it more appealing to potential sponsors.
“In our continued efforts to take local volleyball forward, we hosted key stakeholders and the media to unveil a refreshed logo to the market at the beginning of 2020.
Molaodi said the initiative was a deliberate effort to improve on the existing BVF brand equity and a clear message that communicates change within the organisation.
Nevertheless, BVF President revealed their biggest challenges they came across during their tenure.
“Our greatest challenge was lack of sponsorship for the league. Since the last league sponsorship with Mascom in 2018, we have not been able to secure sponsorship for our local competitions. This has obviously impacted negatively on the standard of play for the local Club in regional competitions and by extension that of the national teams in Zonal & Continental competitions,” said the BVF President.
Voice Sport caught up with several team officials such as Kalavango Volleyball Club mouthpiece Monica Alfred who said failure to secure a league sponsor was a major setback, “Absence of league action frustrated players because they played the sport with passion but it is a different story as they are not catered for,” she said.
On the other hand, Mafolofolo Volleyball Club Chairman Ikageng Seloi was unimpressed with the three-year absence of the league.
“I feel the committee did nothing as the league has been absent for a very long time,” he said.
Meanwhile, the current committee stint in the office will be coming to an end this year, the question is whether the volleyball family will place their trust on them or they will seek to bring new faces to deal with a sport code that is on its knees.