A fading African dream

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Police VI need P500 000 for Tunisia trip

Police VI Ladies Volleyball Club’s participation at the Africa Club Championships hangs in the balance due to financial challenges. The tournament which is scheduled for Tunisia from the 12th-22nd of May brings together all the best sides from Confederation of Africa Volleyball’s(CAVB) seven zones.

Police VI qualified for the tournament for the first time ever by virtue of being the Zone VI Interclub Championships runners up where they were beaten to the gold medal by Academica of Mozambique 3-2 in Zambia, Lusaka in December last year. Despite lack of competition locally, coach Shimaka Ngwanaotsile’s troops have been training hard ever since the beginning of this year in preparation for the tournament.

It has always been difficult for local clubs to compete at the Africa Club Championships which are normally hosted in North Africa by countries such as Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.

Even though local clubs have in the past dominated the Zone VI region and qualified for the continental tournament, travel costs to North Africa have been a deterrent for most Botswana teams.

While the likes of Kutlwano Volleyball Club used to regularly compete in these kind of tournaments, the financial demands eventually took a toll on the team’s meagre resources, leaving only clubs with a financial muscle to dominate the annual continental tourney.

With final confirmation for participation by teams set for the 30th of April 2023, it remains to be seen if “Ditaugadi” will be able to book their ticket to Tunisia.

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Should the Cops make it to Tunisia this will be a huge achievement for a team only established in 2018.

In an interview with Voice Sport, Police VI team manager Suswane Raphori said they need approximately P500 000 to undertake the trip to Tunis.

“We qualified in December and immediately indicated our interest to compete in the continental showpiece but invitation was only done in February. Of course there is no money that is why we are not sure of our participation.We have asked for help from our superiors but they are yet to respond to our request. Even if we can get some assistance still we are not in any competitive shape because locally there is no action. But we can’t completely rule ourselves out of the tournament until we get response from our superiors,” said Raphori.

The last local side to take part in the Africa Club Championships is Police VI’s men in 2019 in Egypt where they finished 12th overall. Since then, following years of inactivity, no Botswana side has competed in the continental showpiece.

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