Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) has deemed the year 2022 a success following their multiple achievements that contributed towards the development and growth of the sport this year. The association became one of the best performing national sport associations (NSA’s) after they hosted all the tournaments and activities within their annual calendar of events, despite challenges.
In 2022 BTTA embarked on a robust grassroots development drive by spreading their wings into the remote areas where they introduced the sport to marginalized communities and set up their RebaBonaHa center in the Central Region. In a recent interview with Gazette Sport, BTTA President Kudzanani Motswagole said they are happy with how things unfolded for them even though it was not an easy journey.
“We took it upon us as the leadership of table tennis to look ahead and focused robustly on a grassroots development campaign which saw us launching the RebaBonaha centre in Mabeleapudi where the international level 2 coach Boitshwarelo Butale is doing it for us as the main coach. We have also launched another development program Project in Bontleng where over 70 kids are being trained daily at Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) hall and they have been attending our tournaments including the just ended Botswana international hosted in Jwaneng with international level 1 coach Tshepiso Rebatenne being in charge of the proceedings. Introduction of table tennis in remote areas is also another major milestone that we pride ourselves with after we invaded the Ghanzi region introducing the sport in Xanagas, Kuke, Dakar, New Xade, Kareng and Nata amongst other areas across the country,” he said.
He further added that BTTA invested in the development of coaches and administrators in their efforts to produce top class leaders that will contribute towards their ultimate goal of growing the sport across the country especially in schools.
“We conducted international coaching courses in Letlhakane in conjunction with Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and 30 aspiring coaches attended and 22 where certified whereas three coaches were certified to be national course conductors. The Junior Chinese players coaching project has also made a huge impact in developing coaches and umpires and we will further improve it with a Botswana vs China tournament in the first quarter of the year 2023. The introduction of under 12 category attracted a lot of interest in English medium schools and it was aimed at facilitating interest cultivation to the young ones and has so far been a very exciting event in our tournaments,” added Motswagole.
Team Botswana also attended the ITTF southern region world qualifiers in Johannesburg, South Africa and obtained Bronze in both men and ladies. “Tshepiso Rebatenne and Kola Modisathebe qualified with Constance Kuswani and Tshenolo Mooketsi given wild cards to make it to top four of our players qualifying to Algeria continental championship which unfortunately due to lack of funding we did not manage to participate in,” he concluded.
BTTA will host its first event in 2023 at the end of January as the national team selection for the upcoming continental and world events.