- Cash-strapped BBA sends lean team to top continental tournament
- But more Batswana umpires are qualifying at advanced levels
- BCA confident national team of four will do well in team events
- Qualified world badminton coach to guide the team at the tourney
Botswana Badminton Association (BBA) has assembled a team of four players that will compete against top teams from across the continent at the All Africa Mixed Team Championships that are slated for Benoni, South Africa at the weekend.
The tournament will start on 12 February and end on the 16 in Benoni.
Two boys and two girls
The team that comprises boys Tsamorena Kgosidialwa and Tumelo Moilwa and girls Tebogo Ndzinge and Keletso Ntebela under the tutelage of Coach Oreeditse Thela.
They reported for camp on Tuesday this week after a long struggle owing to the BBA’s financial constraints.
Information reaching Gazette Sports is that BBA withdrew from individual contests and opted for team events, which will be sponsored by Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA) through a vote that is given to all participating teams.
BBA spokesperson Thobo Tshosa has admitted that the organisation has no budget for sending a bigger team. He added that they are nonetheless confident that the selected individuals will do good in mixed team events.
“The association does not have money at the moment and we had to dig deep to make sure that we are at least represented at these championships, hence an arrangement for only four players to participate,” said Tshosa.
World badminton coach
“We are grateful that we got the much needed assistance from our mother body, the BCA. We are confident that the team will do their best, more so that they are guided by one of the best coaches that we have ever produced who is also a qualified world badminton coach.”
He disclosed that in an effort to develop local umpires and coaches, BCF has sent two female umpires, Connie Motsholapheko and Sheba Seponono, for assessment leading to acquiring BCA accreditation.
“Just recently we sent a female coach for a level 2 coaching course and she passed,” he said. “We have also sent two umpires to advance their umpiring skills prior to the tournament in our quest of producing top class officials.
“They will be assessed by another Motswana, Emmanuel Kgaboetsile, who is Badminton World Federation-accredited, alongside other experts from various regions of the continent.”