Botswana Golf Union (BGU) will host the All Africa Junior Golf Trophy Tournament on March 11-15, with over 70 athletes from 12 countries expected to participate. The tournament features players under the age of18 years, who are expected that by the time of Tokyo Olympic games in 2020 April, they should be strictly below 19 years.
The tournament according to the All Africa Junior Golf’s Local Organizing Committee Communications Manager, Neo Aabobe, has been going on for a while in the continent after starting in Zambia in 2015. It was hosted by Tunisia in 2016 and Morocco in 2018.
She said it is a good opportunity for Botswana to host the 2019 competition, adding that this will stimulate the interest of golf in the country. BGU did not send the team to represent the country in the 2018 competition due to financial constraints, following the impressive perfomance in the 2017 edition in Zimbabwe.
Aabobe said in 2012 Botswana successfully hosted a tournament of the same magnitude through Gaborone Golf Club. She said the team of four boys and three girls will represent Botswana.
Preparations, she said, are at advanced stage. However, she said assembling the team wasn’t easy, though they eventually managed to assemble a well tried and tested team.
Aabobe anticipates that the game is growing with keen interest.
“We are looking at the numbers of members in clubs across the countries, which have grown to a pleasing state. We are also looking at the young girls and boys; their statistics in programmes around are growing,’’ she charged.
She also said it could get even better if more parents would involve their children in the sport to even broaden their specs as they grow older.
“Additionally to an extent it isn’t a golf problem but nation interest, as Golf unlike other sports, we are incomparable as we aren’t in the school systems. We are honestly disadvantaged, especially in terms of access to land, but we remain hopeful. Let us take a look at clubs like Gaborone Golf Club and Orapa Golf Club respectively, in passing that are currently embracing the youth in Golf. And also PGA Botswana is taking the same direction with projects in the pipe line”.
Some of the countries expected to participate include: Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria and Egypt amongst others.
Aabobe called on companies to sponsor the union in order to make golf an attractive sporting code as well.