The University of Botswana (UB) clubs are said to be well prepared for the upcoming intervarsity games that kick start on March 11, 2019 in Lesotho hosted by the National University of Lesotho (NUL).
UB’s Director of Culture, Sport and Recreation Raj Rathedi.told Patriot Sport that his institution was more than ready for the games, saying UB has an advantage over Lesotho and Swaziland counterparts because it has standing teams.
“We do not wait for Games such as the Intervarsity, or any other, to select our teams. Just last week at the FNBB BOTESSA Sports Awards, the University of Botswana won the Institution of the Year – 2018 Award and several of our codes, individual players and coaches, won awards. Last year we brought back several medals, including gold, from the Africa University Games in Ethiopia, where our Men’s Volleyball team made history by becoming probably the only team sport in Botswana ever, to win gold in a continental Championship,” Rathedi noted.
He said several of the students, officials, and coaches represent the country regionally, continentally, and internationally in their respective codes.
“As you probably are aware, a number of our codes are involved in national leagues of their respective codes. The other advantage is that we have great facilities. We also get a lot of emotional support from the UB Community like the SRC, students, support and academic staff, and of course we have valuable support from the UB Management, even though there will always be financial constraints. We are very appreciative to management,” he added.
He said the teams will be taking all the traditional (normal) codes to the completion, along with cultural codes such as Traditional Dance and Choirs.
He said the only popular code that will be left behind is Rugby and this is for technical reasons.
“Our teams will be making final preparations for national rugby leagues, and we would not like the Intervarsity Games to disrupt their training programmes. In all honesty, in Rugby we are too strong for our sister universities,” said Rathedi.
Quizzed on UB’s medal target, the optimistic Rathedi said they are aiming for a huge victory; targeting to win over 80% of the gold medals.
He said the student games, especially against other nations, will always have some social impact hinting that some might say in terms of competitiveness, the games do not add value for the mighty UB teams.
“But you know games of this nature are not only about competitions. Students get opportunities to learn more things about different aspects of life and society than they would otherwise learn from a formal academic setting. Students also get to network in various ways, such as business, cultural exchange, lasting relations, and so on. But then, all this comes at a heavy financial cost. Intervarsity Games are becoming extremely expensive!” he said.