Mmegi Online :: Fencing makes strides despite financial constraints
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Last Updated
Monday 18 June 2018, 16:04 pm.
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Fencing makes strides despite financial constraints

President of the Botswana Amateur Fencing Federation (BAFF), Gaolatwe Modongo said despite the financial constraints that have struck the sporting federations in the country, fencing is making sterling progress.
By Kabelo Boranabi Fri 09 Dec 2016, 14:45 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Fencing makes strides despite financial constraints








Speaking to Mmegi Sport in the wake of a successful trip to South Africa, Modongo said the fencers currently do not afford internationally required fencing equipment hence they resorted to using training suits.

 “Our problem is that we do not have approved (fencing) suits. We use the ones that were donated by the Olympics committee and those are for training. For competitions you need a suit and equipment that record scores electronically. We currently do not have those, as they are expensive. We do not qualify to play because of the equipment,” he said.

He however said this has not demoralised them as they put up a brave performance at the invitational tournament in Johannesburg.

“We surpassed expectations at the tournament. We sent a team of 15 players and four of our players managed to finish in the top 10 bracket.

This was also a ranking tournament. I can say that the tournament was a success for us. We had one of our own Karabo Thobega finishing in the top four of the senior male.”

He further said the trip was their first outing as they have been trying to

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improve their fencers’ skills before they could participate outside the country, a move he said has worked for the locals. 

Modongo revealed that the BAFF has reached a mentorship agreement with Fencing of South Africa, meaning the local fencers would be ranked under the neighbour’ federation.

 “We agreed that we match our yearly calendars so they can include us in their events. South Africa is more advanced than us and they are willing to mentor us,” he said.

Despite having been in existence since 2008, BAFF only affiliated with the Botswana National Sport Commission last year.

The federation has made sterling progress since as they now have around 50 active clubs across the country. The 19-year-old Thobega is one of the exciting prospects and he is currently on a Fencing Masters course in Senegal. The sport gained more popularity in 2014 during the Africa Youth Games, where the country had five participants.

Despite not managing podium finishes, the fencers bagged valuable experience. Fencing master, Resego Bokete has been excelling in international competitions and prides herself with a bronze medal she won at the Africa Junior Championship in 2010.

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