Preps for Botswana International Badminton Open

  • Men’s and women’s national teams selected
  • Coach Thela in Malaysia to brush up on his skills
  • Intense fundraising underway to filed all players


Preparations for the highly-anticipated Botswana International Badminton Open are moving according to plan following a positive response from international players. At least 80 players from across the world – including Pakistan, India, Australia, Mauritius and Egypt – have already registered for the tournament that is billed for 24 to 27 November in Lobatse.

Led by Moses Macheke, the newly elected committee of Botswana Badminton Association (BBA) has been hard at work to resurrect the organisation that has been struggling for the past years.


Five tournaments
The efforts of the new committee are meeting with success because BBA has already hosted at least five tournaments since it assumed office in May.

The Botswana International Open will also be used as a preparatory tournament for next year’s busy schedule of continental and international events, including World Championships and Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers.

National team coaches of BAA recently announced a provisional squad of players who are fit to compete against the best in the world. The squad includes Tefo Kabomo, Gaone Tawana and Godknows Kethabanetswe for the men’s team and Kesego Hamu, Tessa Kabelo and Tebogo Ndzinge for the women’s team. The teams will compete in the singles, doubles and mixed events.

In a recent interview with Gazette Sport, national team coach Oreeditse Thela said he had confidence in the squad and expects the best from it. “We have assembled a very strong team that has what it takes to win titles because they have been tried and tested in a series of local and regional tournaments,” he said.

New talent
“We have also unearthed new talent that is a marvel to watch, hence we are also going to give them a chance to play at the biggest level. Our main target is to surpass the medal tally that we got in the last year’s edition where we had only three players finishing on the podium.”

Coach Thela is currently in Malaysia advancing his technical skills under the tutelage of top-class coaches and administrators at that country’s New Vision Badminton Academy.
BBA’s Technical Director, Emmanuel Seokamo, says they are working around the clock to source funding to enable them to feature all the national team players, especially that BBA is the host. “The team that we have comprises players from different places across the country and they are currently working with the coach on their individual training schedule,” Seakamo said.

“The final team will be determined by availability of resources, including funds. The objective is to accommodate everyone because we believe that they can win us medals. Hosting an international tournament comes with a lot of pressure in all respects but what we need is to do well and bring results home.”