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Mabote: The Karateka turned tennis master

During his time at Primary School, local table tennis star never knew that he would be one of the best Ping Pong players In Botswana right now. At that time, Mabote’s mind was on Karate, which he joined in Primary School.

He was a karate kid before dropping it after his first year at Tlhomo Community Junior Secondary School in kanye. That was when he changed and decided to play Table Tennis.

Despite joining the Table Tennis club at Tlhomo CJSS very late, it did not take long before he broke into the school team. Before he knew it, Mabote was one of the best players at his school and won many prizes through Table Tennis.  He continued to play Table Tennis at Seepapitso Senior School. “When I arrived at Seepapitso, I knew that unlike at junior school, there were many sports codes which I could choose, but I decided to continue with table Tennis because I had now fallen in love with it. 

It was at Seepapitso that I really enjoyed it,” he said.  Following the completion of his time at senior school, Mabote decided not to hang his Ping Pong racket. Instead he started drilling young Table Tennis players at junior schools.

Mabote further revealed that while still working with students, he heard of the Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) tour rankings and immediately registered. 

He was happy to see himself back on the table again, but this time against experienced and more talented players. Mabote continued to do well and in 2003-2004, he won all the tournaments.  He maintained his dominance until 2012 when he dropped to number two in the

rankings for the first time since 2004. “That was because I did not take part in some of the tournaments that year because of school commitments,” he revealed.

He broke into the national team while pursuing his studies at Tonota College of Education (TCE). Mabote said the introduction of the Table Tennis League this year was a welcome development for Ping Pong.  He said it was long overdue and thanked the league sponsors, Celiat Building Construction &Plant Hire and Sports View companies for their contribution.

He said the league was competitive although he had expected a much tougher challenge from the likes of Joseph Kgatlampane and Thobo Matlhatsi.  He won 13 out of a total of 14 games and became the champion in the men’s category.   Mabote who is a teacher at Mariba CJSS in Mabule Village said he does not have anyone to train against in Mabule and relies much on his work with students during training to stay fit.

“I usually train with students and then do physical exercises alone to build my stamina,” he said. Asked about the opponents he feared most, Mabote said he respects every table tennis player, but fears no one.

He however mentioned Kennete Santudu as one of the players that are always tricky. Mabote has represented Botswana in many tournaments played locally and internationally, attributing this to love, commitment and hard work.




Motion of No Confidence

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