Volleyball clubs bound for this year’s edition of the Zone VI Inter-club Championship in Zambia this December are in for a treat with the tournament set for the 5th of November until the 3rd of December 2022.
The tournament features all the top four men’s sides which finished top during the return to play competition back in April this year.
The four sides are Police VI, BDF VI, Kutlwano and Mag-Stimela which will give them an opportunity to prepare well ahead of the regional tournament since volleyball action has been scarce locally.
However Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) have invited all the women’s teams to take part in the tournament in addition to the men’s top four sides.
Further, a special invitation has been extended to junior national teams (under 20 boys and girls) which are heading to the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) region 5 games scheduled for Malawi in December 2nd-11th .
Though the tournament is nothing big, it has attracted the sponsorship of Liquid Intelligence Technologies who are reported to have injected P120 000 into the competition.
As a way to ease teams’ financial woes, ladies teams are set to get P5000 as mobilization fees ahead of the start of the tournament.
In an interview with Voice Sport, BVF Vice President Administration Ndibo Lebala- said the top four men’s team are engaged as a way of helping them to prepare for the Zone VI Championships.
“The reason why the tournament is like this is because our plan was to initially have a ten weekend competition but funding became the challenge. So we decided to mobilize ladies team because we have realized that in these trying times when there is no action they tend to suffer more than men, they always regress in the worst manner and their recovery is always difficult. For junior teams their preparations are not smooth for their games so we roped them in such that they benefit from this tournament and get match practice ahead of their competition,” said Lebala.
From the ladies side, teams which are expected to compete at Zone VI Championships are BDF VI and Police VI.
Post 2016, BVF has been struggling to have consistency in holding tournaments and attracting sponsorships for the national league and Cup tournaments.
The national league was last played in 2018 under the auspices of Mascom Wireless in 2018.
Since then finding sponsors has been a tough nut to crack but rather, the federation made some attempts to organise self-sponsored tournaments in 2019 before Covid-19 brought the sporting world to a standstill.
It was only early this year that BVF managed to give clubs a glimpse of action through the return to play tournament which was powered by funds from the federation’s grant from Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).