The Notwane Club golden jubilee celebrations have been officially launched this week. As they celebrate, Notwane Club boast of their tremendous contribution to the development of sport in the country.
Formed in 1964, Notwane Club was officially registered in 1965. Some of the sports associations and senior clubs present today have been born out of the existence and encouragement of the Notwane Club.
According to Adrian Slave, when the club started it had all the sporting codes under its arm, however as time went by some requested to be independent. Slave said the sole aim of Notwane Club was to provide multi-racial sporting opportunity for the people of Botswana.
“Notwane club has played a crucial role in the development of sport in the country. When we started there was no sports council (now Botswana National Sport Commission) and we ran all the sporting codes,” he explained.
Slave said it is now time to celebrate what the club has done over the years to develop sport in the country. Notwane Club currently runs three sporting codes that include football, tennis and netball. However, the celebration will include other codes such as basketball, volleyball darts, golf and rugby.
As always the club will also be looking at youth teams to take part in the celebrations. Since its inception, the club has been known for its production of good quality players making it big in the sporting arena particularly in football. Players such as Mandla Mgadla, Galabwe Moyana and the Moloi trio of Pontsho, Dirang and Pako are the products of Notwane FC development structure.
Notwane Club secretary Lawrence Phiri said as they celebrate this milestone Notwane Club realised that they have a responsibility to do more for sports than concentrating on soccer, tennis and netball only. Phiri said this is why they have seen the need to have other sporting codes take part in the celebrations. “We have talked with other codes and they have agreed to let their teams be part of the golden jubilee,” said Phiri.
The celebrations kick start this weekend with a tennis challenge at Notwane tennis club. The weekend of 18-19 July will see Highlanders of Zimbabwe featuring in the celebrations. Highlanders will bring its seniors and legends football teams that will play against the Notwane FC legends and senior teams. On the same weekend there will be a volleyball challenge, darts challenge and basketball tournaments at the University of Botswana.
According to Phiri, Notwane needs to change its image with time and take advantage of the vast resources it has. He said the celebrations will mark the commencement of the implementation of the 2015/2016 Club Development Plan which is aimed at improving the club. Phiri said the development plan looks at encouraging the formation of new sports sections like basketball, Volleyball, Softball and the ladies football.
The celebrations come at a time when Notwane Club is still mourning the relegation of the Notwane FC to the first division. For the first time in their history the football club has will not be playing in the elite league. However, Notwane FC spokesperson said the celebrations are not only for the football club but the achievements of the club at large. He said what the club is celebrating is its existence and all the achievements of the past 50 years.