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Road to 2020 Olympics: No. 23 Botswana receives softball development grant

posted Mar 14, 2017, 10:25 PM by Jairy Otero

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GABORONE, Botswana – Japan has granted over USD $65,000 to the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) to improve and upgrade the national Softball Stadium and to provide Softball equipment through the Japanese Government’s ‘Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects’. The Japanese initiative is also part of the ‘Sport for Tomorrow’’programme, which aims to spread the value of sport and promote the Olympic and Paralympic movement worldwide, leading up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The Japanese ambassador to Botswana, Masahiro Onishi, highlighted that softball was one of the most popular sports in Botswana for both men and women, stating that the project was expected to facilitate a better training environment.

“It is my hope that the Botswana women’s softball team will train at the refurbished softball stadium, with the equipment provided through our grant, and will attend the Tokyo Olympic games and accomplish remarkable achievements,” stated Onishi.

The ambassador said in addition to the grant, Japan will provide a volunteer coach to BSA to train softball players over a two-year period.

He also thanked the BSA, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Botswana National Sports Council, and Botswana National Olympic Committee for their cooperation and support.

BSA president, Tirelo Mukokomani said part of the grant would go towards intensifying the training at the school of excellence centres in Goodhope and Masunga as part of the grassroots programme.

The project is the fourth under the Japanese grant assistance for grassroots cultural projects in Botswana, having assisted karate in 2008 and judo in 2011 and 2015.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has also fund projects to build baseball and softball facilities in Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Ghana.

The BSA will host the next WBSC Congress in October 2017.

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