Kanye, Maun, Gantsi, Sua, Selebi Phikwe, Gaborone and Francistown among centres of population that have embraced hockey but a development programme that includes schools needs public and private sector backing
Botswana’s hockey is progressing development-wise, Head Coach and Chairperson of Basil Hockey Club Thoriso Bogwasi has told this publication.
According to Bogwasi who was speaking to this publication in a telephone interview, there is an increasing number of regions embracing the sport, including Kanye, Maun, Gantsi, Sua, Selebi Phikwe, Gaborone and Francistown. It came to light in the interview that while there has been commendable progress, there remains a resounding call for greater support and investment in the sport.
“We are not jumping for joy,” stated Bogwasi, reflecting on the current state of hockey in the country. “There is still more that can be done to support the sport.”
He emphasised the need for heightened involvement from both the government and the private sector, stressing the necessity for increased investments to propel the sport further. Particularly, the absence of a national junior league raises concerns, with Bogwasi underlining the league’s potential in nurturing the skills of young players and fostering healthy competition nationwide.
But despite these challenges, under Bogwasi’s leadership Basil Hockey Club has been actively contributing to growth of the sport. Initiatives such as coaching clinics for children, collaborations with schools to introduce hockey, and participation in international tournaments illustrate their commitment to nurturing a vibrant hockey community in Botswana.
“We are optimistic about the future of hockey in Botswana,” Bogwasi said. “The sport has the potential to be a source of national pride and to bring success to our country.”
Additionally, to help promote hockey in Botswana, Bogwasi noted that his club has formed relations with Eswatini, South Africa, and Namibia hockey communities. “We have a junior programme that is majority girls and hope to grow to have full teams that can join the seniors or tours and tournaments,” he said.
“We are excited about the potential of these relationships to help us grow and develop hockey in Botswana. We are also committed to promoting hockey among girls and young women, and we are hopeful that our junior programme will continue to grow and provide opportunities for them to play and develop their skills.”
Acknowledging the transformative power of the sport, Bogwasi expressed gratitude to the parents who recognise the opportunities hockey presents for their children. Encouraging further support from the sporting community, he emphasised the inclusivity and transformative potential of hockey for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.