|Chinese Embassy Donates To Phikwe Teams|
By Mqondisi Dube
SELEBI-PHIKWE: Chinese ambassador Ding Xiaowen says his office will continue supporting the growth of sports in Botswana as a way of building a healthy nation.
Ding was speaking during the donation of soccer kits to Selebi-Phikwe football teams in the mining town on Thursday. He said it was important that the teams put the equipment to good use and pledged the embassy's continued support to sports in the country.
"Sports is important for one's health and keeps the youth away from social ills like alcohol and drug abuse. When they have something to do they can feel a sense of independence and responsibility," Ding said.
He said it was for this reason that the Chinese embassy has been actively involved in sports. The embassy has already donated 300 balls to President Ian Khama's initiative of constituency football. The donation of soccer kits to Selebi-Phikwe West teams was the brainchild of Member of Parliament (MP) Kavis Kario who approached Ding.
Kario said he approached the ambassador as his constituency is committed to the ideals of the development of football. He said it was evident that despite lack of resources, football in the country was growing. "Our football is growing. A few years back, we did not have women's football but all that has changed. This donation has come in handy," the legislator said.
He said Botswana Football Association (BFA) registered teams had benefited from the donation because they had no sponsorship and the league was about to get under way.
Kario said the handouts would go a long way in assisting the teams, which have struggled as a result of lack of resources.
BFA Selebi-Phikwe region chairperson Mike Molefe commended Beijing for the support, saying most teams struggled because they had no sponsor.
"Most of the administrators here run football from their pockets. Kario has challenged us to do more for ourselves through sourcing this donation," Molefe said.
He gave teams the leeway to use the kit for their league matches if they wanted to. All clubs in Selebi-Phikwe West, including Nico United and Satmos benefited from the gift.
Instead of a soccer kit, United received soccer balls. Two women's teams, Pimville United and Eloi, are among the beneficiaries.(Mmegi)