Phikwe softball extravaganza
LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Moakofi (L) at a press briefing in Selebi Phikwe

Popular tourney to feature 16 teams

Following the success of last month’s Toyota 1000 Desert Race, elite sport once again makes its way to Selebi Phikwe, this time in the form of the annual Softball Extravaganza.

Set for Saturday to Monday, the event is powered by Komatsu in partnership with Selibe Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) under the theme ‘SPEDU Region Economic Revival Through Sports’.

SPEDU Corporate Communications Manager Shiela Moribame-Moakofi explained that as part of their mandate to diversify the economy in the region, they occasionally partner with other stakeholders to hold events such as the extravaganza in the copper mining town.

“We intend to support events in this city. This is part of the bigger picture where we are going to promote sports tourism,” Moakofi told Voice Sport on Wednesday.

She said they expect a good number of people to throng to the mining town for this weekend’s extravaganza, benefiting both the informal sector and the hospitality industry.

“We are looking at improving the economic vibrancy, so events like the extravaganza, the Toyota Desert Race are just in line with what we do. It is only for a few days, but there no doubt that local businesses will benefit,” noted Moakofi.

She further told Voice Sport that Komatsu Botswana has sponsored the tournament to a tune P200, 000.

“We urge other companies to come on board to make this tournament one of the biggest in the region,” she added.

The extravaganza will feature eight male teams and eight women sides.

On the ladies’ side, northern teams: Carrets, Comets, Scramblers and Rail Giants will square off with their southern nemesis in Bears, Police IX, Panthers and Titans.

Tough encounters are also expected when eight of the best male sides in the country take to the pitch in Makhubu. The northern zone is represented by Comets, Carrets, Rail Giants and Rebels, while from the southern zone there’s Wells, Police IX, Panthers and BDF IX.

Last year, Jwaneng-based side, Wells Softball Club dominated the tournament, with both the male and female teams crowned champions. Both teams pocketed P60, 000 each, a trophy and gold medals.

The 2019 Prize money is slightly lower as the Champions will walk away with P40, 000, while the second and third place will receive P30, 000 and P25, 000 respectively.

There will be monetary prizes for other teams as well, with fourth to eight placed teams pocketing P20, 000, P18, 000, P15, 000, P10, 000 and P10, 000 respectively.

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