- As the women’s softball team fails to qualify for Olympics
- Limited resources continues to cripple the association
Lack of experience at international level was the women’s national softball team’s downfall at the World Baseball Softball (WBSC) softball Europe/Africa qualifier games, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) Sport Development Officer (SDO) Molekane Bokhutlo, has said.
The local team failed to fullfil their dream of becoming the first African country to appear at the Olympics in softball after losing all their games at the qualifier games which were held in Utrecht, Netherlands last week. The games pitted together two countries from Africa in Botswana and South Africa as well as six European countries which included Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy, France, Czech Republic and Spain.
Botswana was in group B with Italy, France and Czech Republic. The local ladies’ woes at the competition begun when they suffered an 8-0 defeat in the hands of Italy on their opening game before receiving another 11-2 beating from France in their second encounter. The local team’s poor showings at the games persisted when Czech Republic handed them a 12-0 beating on their final group game.
Speaking in an interview with Gazette Sport Bokhutlo who travelled with the team as Head Of Delegation noted that the local team did not deliver the desired results due to lack of experience at international level. “They were anxious, they had too much stage fright and they kept on making unexpected errors time and time again,” he said. “And that was due to the fact that we do not play more international games and that alone does not give our players as well as coaches an opportunity to learn how to play against these advanced nations.”
Bokhutlo says there is a need for local coaches to be given more coaching clinics as their opponets at Utrechet seemed to be more drilled in coaching than them. “That is because most of the teams that we played with won their encounters from the bench, their coaches seem to be more equipped on playing tactics and their apporoach to the games was totally different to ours. We have a lot to do, we need to drill our coaches further and we also need to give our players more international exposure.”
He went on to decry limitation of resources more especially money which he said continues to cripple their association. “You will find that even travelling to South Africa for friendlies is even a challenge for us,” he complained. Botswana is currently ranked 43rd in the world as according to 2018 rankings