Kutlwano Volleyball Club women’s team coach Dopp Popo says local volleyball could grow in leaps and bounds should there be a rigorous marketing campaign to take it to the people. According to Popo, despite Botswana promising in the game of volleyball, little is done to market it and pull locals to the game. The recently crowned 2015 Mascom Volleyball Coach of the Season said volleyball needs to be taken to the level of football where most people will want to associate with it. For it to grow there is need for more sponsors to be attracted to the game, he said.
Even though volleyball continues to show signs of growth, Popo said there are still a lot of gabs in the development of volleyball in Botswana. He revealed that little is done concerning the tracking of players, especially those at Under 17 level. “Talented players are not tracked right from a young age. I believe that these players need to be tracked and kept together to build a strong team for the future,” said Popo. He acknowledged that there is a lot of talent in the country that needs to be nurtured into future stars.
However, he applauded Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) for including a few of the young upcoming players in the women national team. He singled out the inclusion of Justine Moyo, the former under 17 player in the team that is representing Botswana at the Olympic qualifiers in Cameroon. Popo is an experienced volleyball coach who has shown his capabilities in the local volleyball league. He has been awarded the women volleyball team coach of the season award for four consecutive years since 2012. Naturally one would be quick to claim the fame; but Popo credited this to his technical team.
According to him, it is the team that he is working with that helped him get the recognition and awards. “We have very good working relations as the technical team and they always help and encourage me to do well,” he said. As a coach for one of the country’s power houses Kutlwano, it is no surprising that Popo said they are always forced to do their best to produce results. He singled the likes of Percy Roberts, Tsoseletso Magang and Isaac Samuels as the people who help to keep him going as a coach. He said they always give advice on how to grow as a coach. The Level 2 volleyball coach is aiming to develop more in the game. He revealed that now he is now eyeing to upgrade to Level 3 qualification.
Under the tutelage of Popo and his technical team, Kutlwano Volleyball Club has found not match in the local league. The team does not only dominate the local league but also the Confederation of African Zone VI. Asked what keeps the team high riding, Popo said it is because of the rivalry they have set. He explained that every team that plays Kutlwano wants to beat them. “As a result every game that we play we give 100% to make sure we win it,” said Popo. He said their secret is that they train very hard as a team from Monday to Friday while other teams only meet on Thursdays.
Popo is happy to be part of Kutlwano Volleyball Club as he has always loved the club. It is the only club that he played for during his playing times before retiring because of knee injury. Popo said his love for volleyball was induced when he was at Nanogang CJSS. “My class teacher was the coach and the team was in need of a player. She then forced me into the team. Since then I have played and loved volleyball up to now,” he revealed.