- The sterling performance of Sekao Jack and George Chiswaniso at the Senior Nations Championships in Morocco last year weighted heavily in favour of volleyball
Botswana Men’s Beach Volleyball team has landed safely in Tunisia to represent the country at the second edition of the Africa Beach Games slated for Hammamet from 23 to 30 June.
All African countries participate in the games in various sports disciplines in both men and women’s individual and team events.
The Games serve as qualifiers for the World Beach Games that are scheduled for Bali, Indonesia in August this year.
Under the tutelage of Coach Kabelo Marumo, the Botswana team comprises the pair of Sekao Jack and George Chiswaniso, as well as Trevor Manduwa, Nkagisang Balosi, Saletlhake Saletlhake and Mosiiwa Baleofi.
The team has been hard at work preparing for these highly-anticipated games through their participation in the Zone 6 Beach Volleyball Series where they finished 2nd last season.
Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) opted for beach volleyball ahead of basketball and karate, which debuted in the games in Cape Verde three years ago.
The Magic Pair
The preference for volleyball was influenced by the sterling performance of Jack and Chiswaniso at the Senior Nations Championships in Morocco last year where they qualified for the World Championships that are due in Mexico in October.
In an interview with Gazette Sports, BNOC Business Development Manager, Baboni Kupe, said they prioritised volleyball because it is in the Paris 2024 programme and therefore need an opportunity better their rankings ahead of the 2024 Olympics.
The Games have adopted the new playing style. Unlike the common beach volleyball where a team is made up of two players, beach volleyball 4X4 is a dynamic discipline in which two teams of four players face off against each other.
Botswana first in Africa
It will be the first time for Botswana to play this variation of beach volleyball at this year’s Africa Beach Games.
“Botswana will be represented by the Men’s Beach Volleyball Team, who are currently 1st in Africa in terms of ranking,” Kupe noted.
“This is in line with our roadmap to Paris 2024 where priority has been given to those who stand a higher chance of qualifying to represent us at the Olympic Games.
“We believe volleyball has the capacity to finish in a better position and eventually make it to the world stage.”
The captain of the team, Sekao Jack, sees it as an opportunity to proceed to the World Beach Games. “Although it will be the first time we participate in the 4 x 4 competition, we know the feel of the sand and the ball because all of us have been playing beach volleyball,” he said.
“Our main goal now is to qualify for the World Beach Games in Indonesia. Achieving that on its own would help us gain experience at a higher level.”