A team of 20 players, one Umpire and seven officials left the country on Sunday to participate at the 11th Junior Softball World Championships hosted in Midland,USA. Thirteen countries representing the five regions will compete for the world’s top prize in softball within the U-19 men’s category from 24-30 July 2016.
The tournament will also include Softball power houses such as defending champions Argentina, host USA, New Zealand, Japan while African representative will lay in the shoulders of Botswana and South Africa.
According to World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the tournament seeks to help young athletes to shine and dorn their national colors with pride.
“The WBSC is proud to announce a global collection of nations for the 11th Junior Men’s Softball World Championship,” read a statement said by WBSC Softball Division President Dale McMann.
“With its existing world class venues and knowledgeable fans, Midland 2016 will be an ideal backdrop for these elite young athletes to shine and proudly wear the jerseys of their countries – representing and spreading our sport in their part of the world and beyond. The WBSC is committed to showcasing our sport’s world championships to advance our leading position and appeal as a youth-based sport across both genders,” further went the statement on the WBSC official website.
Botswana, who have been to the competitions on two previous occasion, have been drawn in pool A, alongside Argentina, Australia, United States, Czech Republic, Denmark, Botswana, and Venezuela , and would have to put on their best showing at an international stage, should they consider any hopes of proceeding to the double-page playoff.
Despite Gazette Sport unable to getting a comment from the team before departure, this publication understand that the team has been in camp for more than two months in preparation for the global showpiece.
Recent media reports also revealed that the team’s coach Basimane Molathiwa admitted to having suffered few set backs mainly due to players picking injuries which forced new entries into the side.
Representing Botswana will also be Softball Federation (ISF) accredited Umpire Abel Mataboge. Mataboge joins a list of sixteen umpires from eleven countries to be appointed for the tournament.
The team is expected back into the country on the 2nd of August.
Team List: Kabo Tsiripe (pitcher),Samuel Kunyalala (pitcher), Gideon Puakaa (pitcher), Tumisang Moakofhi (pitcher),Boikanyo Motlaleng (pitcher) Ali Busang (catcher), Obakeng Gaobatege (catcher), Lebogang Sedibelo (catcher), Kabo Kealotswe (infield), Makata Makata (infield), Maatla Mpeba (infield), Tshepho Ditiro (infield), Mmoloki Mpho (infield), Thabang Tshipa (infield), Ofentse Ketshogile (infield), Munashe Chibinyani (outfield), Mokoba Modiegi (outfield), Reuben Office (outfield), Oreneetse Bojosi (outfield), Shareef Mpuang (outfield).
Umpire: Abel Mataboge
Renny Molete (head of delegation), Letsweletse Jonas (team manager), Tony Moyo (coach-pitching), Thompson Misael (coach-hitting), Otimile Tapiso (coach), Gabotepele Molefhi (team physiotherapist), Kgalemang Moamerika.