Position 2 and a tally of 23 medals, 7 of them gold, is the record of Botswana at the latest CUCSA Games in Malawi where they bettered their 2018 performance in Gabs
Botswana Tertiary Students Sports Association (BOTESSA) achieved the ultimate goal of surpassing its 2018 performance at the recent Confederation of University and College Sports Association (CUCSA) Games held in Lilongwe, Malawi last weekend.
The games brought six African nations against one another, namely South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana and Zambia.
The Blue, Black and White Stripes fielded several codes, including volleyball, netball, football, tennis, chess and athletics. They amassed 23 medals – 7 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze – to finish in Position 2 overall. As usual, athletics dominated the tally of medals for Botswana.
Team Botswana was bested only by the region’s heavyweights, South Africa, with 25 medals and was followed by Zimbabwe in third place with 21 medals.
Volleyball ladies dominated their code, winning four out of their five games to claim the bragging rights as champions of this year’s edition in which only the hosts Malawi denied them a clean sheet but nevertheless won gold, to the delight of Coach Shadrack Modiakgotla and the entire nation.
The men and women of athletics outclassed their opponents in track and field events to hoard 6 golds. Not to be completely outshone by their rushing compatriots, the tennis team won 6 medals (2 silvers and 4 bronzes).
In an interview with Gazette Sports, BOTESSA president Keorapetse Setlhare said they are elated to have surpassed the last edition of CUCSA four years ago in Botswana. “The team has done well in all fields compared to the games we hosted four years ago where we finished third,” he said.
“We want to be counted among the toughest opponents in the region. It has been a couple of years without competition owing to COVID-19, but our athletes have nevertheless improved mentally and are now ready to take on the world on a bigger stage.”
But Setlhare noted that some challenges may become obstacles in their progress, mentioning insufficient funding and calling on companies to step up to the plate. Even so, he was not stinting in his laudation of entities that made it possible for Team Botswana to forge ahead of most in Malawi.
“I must commend the companies that came on board to assist us, especially FNBB, who are our main sponsors,” Setlhare said. “Their support is highly appreciated. But others tend to turn a blind eye on us. I appeal to them to respond appropriately to help turn these budding sportsmen and sportswomen into stars.”