Volleyball teams in All Africa Games qualifiers
Botswana ladies volleyball team head coach Kabo Ntshinogang believes that his side has a chance of doing well at the All Africa Games zonal Qualifiers despite the fact that there was no league action this season to keep players active throughout.
Botswana has a mammoth task of overcoming Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to book a spot at the All Africa Games which take place in Morocco later this year. The men’s team under the leadership of coach Shadereck Kapeko will also be in action.
The zonal qualifiers are slated for Maputo, Mozambique from June 2 to 8, 2019. For team Botswana to qualify for the All Africa games, they have to finish on position one or two which will then secure their ticket to Morocco. Despite the unavailability of the national league this year due to lack of sponsorship, Botswana is expected to qualify for the games since they have never had any problems with the Zone VI region teams.
In addition, the technical team has assembled a crop of experienced players blended with young blood. Senior players like Tebogo Sejewe and Karabo Molefha, who played in the last edition of the All Africa games which were held in Congo-Brazzaville in 2015, are still with the team which means their experience will be very vital in leading the team to victory.
According to Ntshinogang, his squad is ready to deliver.
“The team is as best as we could have made it. First of all our preparations were not like the way we expected. Normally, we never struggle financially but this time around we found ourselves in that situation which made life a bit difficult for us. But we managed to work with the little that we had. So for now I can congratulate the players because they sacrificed a lot and did exceptionally well,” he said.
Though Botswana is considered as one of the powerhouses in southern Africa, Ntshinogang said they won’t have it easy since other countries have improved drastically in the last years. The likes of Swaziland and Zimbabwe have grown tremendously as evidenced by the good performance of their clubs during Zone VI Interclub and Africa Club Championships.
“It is not easy as in the past years; a lot of countries have put in some hard work and they are developing teams at an alarming rate. If you look at the Under 20 Championships we hosted last year in Gaborone our ladies team did not win and that shows that as a country there is something were are not doing well. So I hope with the experience that we have we will triumph but mind you I’m saying this without knowing how other teams are looking like,” said Ntshinogang.
The unavailability of the national league this year might be the main hiccup to Botswana’s qualification dream since players had little to no action.
“The last time our players had action was in November. From November- April players have had nothing to do except the two players who went to play beach volleyball. But if you look at indoor volleyball it is played by six players as compared to beach and the dynamics of the games are also different. So lack of the league has killed us and it’s so sad. So it has been tough because we had to compress everything in a month to put players in the level of fitness we wanted but I’m happy they managed to cope with our schedule. If we could have managed to stage a cup tournament it could have been better so my hope is that we qualify such that we continue training,” said Ntshinogang.
Jestinah Moyo, Gontle Goirwang, Thato Solomon, Tshiamo Chakalisa, Merapelo Tshimologo, Caroline Rodger, Tsholofelo Retshabile, Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe, Karabo Molefha, Chada Majaha, Sesha Matswiri, Thapelo Kamberuka, Tebogo Sejewe, Priscilla Nthaga.
Emmanuel Mahlange, Bokao Taukobong, Lebogang Magote, Thabang Ramochele, Sekao Jack, Tiroyaone Otimile, Phemelo Lekoko,Tebogo Keobakile, Libion Machae, Moemedi Siphambe,Happy Ribbin, Bakang Marumo, George Chiswaniso, Phenyo Thebeng.