GM’S Pre-Season Cup sponsored to P135, 000
Teams from the Boteti Regional Football Association will battle it out for honours at the annual GM’s Cup in Letlhakane.
The General Manager’s Cup, a pre-season tournament launched last year with a total sponsorship of P98, 000 from Debswana, is the initiative of the association’s chairman Phillimon Bunu.
This year the mining giant’s slightly increased their sponsorship, popping out P100, 000 for the 2018 edition.
Kanu Equipment, another company trading within the mine, supported the initiative with P35, 000 raising the total sponsorship to P135, 000.
The tournament has pitted old rivals like Stone Brokers, Diamond Chiefs and White Diamonds together.
In total 17 teams (12 men and five women) took part.
After a points system campaign, in the ladies side Desert Buffalos will square off against Tawana Top Girls while Stone Breakers take on White Diamonds in the final at Letlhakane Stadium on Independence Day.
The winners of the men’s section will walk away with P12, 000, a trophy, gold medals and a kit.
Runners-up get a P5, 500, medals and a kit, and the semi-finalists get P3, 500.
The women winners will pocket P5, 000, a trophy, gold medals and a kit. Runners-up will win P3, 000, medals and a kit. There’s also a P1, 000 consolation prize for teams knocked out at different stages of the tournament.
Speaking at the tournament launch in Orapa last Saturday, Bunu explained the objectives of the annual tournament is to enhance the quality of football in the region and further drive the development of the women’s game by providing equal opportunities.
“Our teams use this as a pre-season tournament, which gives them an opportunity to gauge their preparedness ahead of the new season.
“Our intention is to have a team in the First Division North because it has been a while and we believe through such initiatives a team from Boteti will soon be promoted,” said an optimistic Bunu.
He noted that with the help of sponsors like Debswana and Kanu Equipment, they have become one of the most progressive football regions hence their ability to reach teams in places like Rakops.
“I appeal to other companies to be part of this noble course. Next we want to be playing for P200, 000 with more than two sponsors,” added Bunu.
Northern Block Representative Maokaneng Bontshetse, who is also Francistown Regional Chairperson, shared Bunu’s sentiments and hailed the region for its visionary leadership.
Bontshetse, who ironically took over from Bunu as the Block Representative, stressed it was not easy to secure sponsorship for a pre-season tournament.
He noted that without the support of stakeholders, including supporters, regional committees would never achieve their mandate.
“We have to work together as supporters and clubs to ensure that such sponsorship is retained. We have to bring everyone on board and this include our musicians if we want to have a sellable product,” surmised Bontshetse, adding football and entertainment should not be treated as separate entities, but as industries that can compliment each other.
“If you go the UK or South Africa and other parts of the world where stadia are always full, there’s entertainment. We have to look at this to help lure supporters to our stadiums,” he concluded.