The Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) was praised for hosting a major regional tournament communicated on short notice. The Zone 6 Club Championships were held in Botswana last month after being given the opportunity to host the event at the last moment. The tournament was initially supposed to be hosted by Swaziland before pulling out at the eleventh hour due to financial constraints.
Despite having less than a week to prepare for the tournament, the local federation still managed to host clubs from countries such as Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. Botswana had six participants, this consisted of three men’s teams and the same number of women’s teams.
In the men’s category, Police, Spiking Stars and BDF VI participated while Kalavango, Kutlwano and Mafolofolo were in the women’s category. Mafolofolo won the women’s category of the tournament after beating archrivals Kutlwano 3-2 in the final. Kalavango finished in third place, earning a bronze medal.
Mafolofolo’s players also dominated the awards ceremony as Tsholofelo Retshablie, Tshepo Molosiwa and Priscilla Nthaga walked away with individual awards. Other awards recipients in the women’s category include Kutlwano’s Tebogo Sejewe and Lekedzani Bayi and Kalavango’s Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe.
Spiking Stars proved to be the surprise packages of the tournament as they went on to claim second place as well as silver medals. They narrowly lost to Mozambican side Autoridade Tributaria de Mozambique (ATM). The final score line was 3-2 in the men’s final.
Pre- tournament favourites BDF VI have now claimed a bronze medal for a second successive year, the domestic league champions were widely tipped to reach the final given their impressive league form last year. Stars’ appearance in the final enabled them to outshine the army side; BDF VI were aiming to complete a hat trick of trophies in 2013 but they failed to live up to expectations.
Spiking Stars’ Gaolapelwe Mmelesi and BDF VI’s Patrick Tlale both won individual awards. BVF vice president, George Keontse told Gazette Sport that the visiting teams were satisfied with the tournament. “We had a week to get everything in order and time was not on our side but we managed to host a good tournament. Our visitors applauded our efforts and acknowledged that we had little time to prepare for the tournament,” he stated.