Fencing determined to grow

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 20 January 2015   |   By Ontametse Sugar

Botswana Fencing Association Secretary General Tumelo Ramogotsi says that they are determined to make sure that the sport grows in the country, and even increase their participation at international games. Ramogotsi said the existence of the Maruapula Fencing Club is what gives them hope because members of the club are determined to see themselves taking part in international competitions. He said they are yet to affiliate to the BNSC, meaning that they are not getting any financial help from the government which is the case with codes under the BNSC. On why it is still taking such a long time to be the BNSC affiliates, Ramogotsi revealed that they are not meeting the BNSC requirements such as having ordinary general meetings minutes, financial audits and a wide geographical coverage around the country among other things.  

"The wide geographical presence of the code is what makes things even more difficult for us because if we do not have any funding and as such there is no how we can be able to introduce fencing to schools around the country,” he said. 

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Ramogotsi commented that they rely for funding from the International Fencing Federation (IFF), which is not enough. He said they want to participate in the Open championships in South Africa this year to give local athletes international exposure. They will also be looking at who can attend the international world events that are coming like the World Championships Junior and Cadets that will be in Uzbekistan this April and the senior world championships in Moscow, Russia, among other competitions. For every international competition, the International Fencing Federation sponsors one person, and Ramogotsi said they do not want only one person to go there since they also want to take part in team competitions. He said that they are really struggling to spread fencing to the locals because they do not have sponsorships and all of them in the committee work on voluntary basis.

Ramogotsi is currently the only coach in the local federation that is accredited by the international federation. He expressed his excitement that with funding from the IFF, one player Karabo Thobega will be going for a coaching course for 10 months. Thobega participated in the African Youth games last year that were hosted by Botswana. Though the IFF is offering coaching training for two people from each country, local fencing is sending only one person due logistics challenges.  

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"With Thobega going for training this will take off the burden that I had, so now at least we will have someone who is an accredited coach," Ramogotsi said. He said despite the lack of resources they intend to spread clubs around Gaborone as they do not have funds to go to outside places. 



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