In their quest to package the sport into a sellable product in terms of partnerships and monetary sponsorships, Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) has announced the official name for their national team as “Diteemane” which is a Setswana name for diamonds. This is part of the current executive committee’s idea which they promised the table tennis community when they assumed office two years ago to revive a sport which was almost in a nonexistence status.
BTTA was deemed one of the consistent and active sporting code since last year and it earned them a nomination for the “Sport Code of the Year” at the recent Botswana National Sports Awards held in Gaborone. in an exclusive interview with Gazette Sport recently, BTTA President Kudzanani Motswagole said they drew the inspiration from the previous state of table tennis in Botswana to the current state which he is of the view that they have made a huge progress in reviving the sport and athletes’ performance.
“We are of the view that we have mad a huge progress in reviving this sport which was almost dead. We have come with a name that will serve as an inspiration and motivation to our players when they represent the country. The name Diteemane is to symbolize the strength a diamond displays under any pressure either big or small. A diamond doesn’t start out polished and shining, it once was nothing special but with enough pressure and time becomes spectacular. We have looked at the value chain which is our internal processes and assessed how we survive in terms of running our association. We have realised that we work in a tough environment with hard conditions, but we still bring the results and progresses hence the name Diteemane which suits our operations. We survive with a thin budget but we go all out to fend for ourselves,” he said.
He further stated that this will also give the team morale ahead of the highly anticipated Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 games slated for later this month in Durban, South Africa. “We have hosted a lot of local competitions so that we can select a strong squad that will represent us at the Region 5 Games and I must say we are happy with the progress so far because they are indeed diamonds. We plead with the public and the business community to give the team a much-needed support in any way that can inspire the team to do well in their upcoming games. We are in a state and level that any company can invest on us and we shall never disappoint. Table Tennis have shown a tremendous growth across the world and we want to continue creating a legacy that will benefit the country beyond our term in office,” Motswagole explained.
The national team is made from 10 athletes including Bakang Maloka, Tshenolo Mooketsi, Olorato Ramagapu and Tshepiso Rebatenne amongst the others. They are led by Coaches Thobo Matlhatsi and Boykie Selerio.