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Menís Softball Team Gets Pat On The Back

NALEDI LEMOGANG
Minister Olopeng and softball executive welcoming men's senior national team from World Championships
The senior national menís softball team has received a pat on the back from the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng for their brilliant run at the just ended World Softball Championships held in Canada.

Botswana went to the competition ranked number 19 in the world. However, the team made history by qualifying for top eight where they finished the championships in eighth position.
Speaking during a welcome ceremony, Olopeng said he is more than proud of all the wonders that the local athletes are doing on the international stage. The team was expected to have lunch yesterday with  President Ian Khama at the State House as a way of appreciating their performance because they defeated highly-ranked countries like Great Britain.
“This is exactly what I have always wanted to see in sport. I was informed about the performance of the team while at Canada and I was watching Dinaletsana as they hosted other countries in a world cup level while some of our top athletes are doing wonders at Diamond League,” Olopeng said. He said all these sterling performances by athletes make his work easier when it comes to negotiating funding from the government because they are doing a great job in putting the country in the world map, which requires lasting attention. Sports administrators were urged to think differently about the growth of sport so that all sporting codes can perform in

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the same level with others. “This is a sign that we have great talent in Botswana. Therefore, this is an assignment to sports bodies to come up with strategies and programmes that can improve the level of sport in these country so that we continue to shine in international events and brand our country,” he said. He added that sport is one of the sectors that can curb unemployment in Botswana when taken seriously. For her part, the team manager Gloria Gaosikelwe said that it has been five incredible months of preparations for the games and their dream was to qualify for top eight.
“The team had achieved their dream to be in top eight therefore their performance marks the first achievement in the history of softball in Botswana.

It was a great competition because most of the players were playing with all their hearts and delivered accordingly,” Gaosikelwe said.

She said that one of the players who is the icon of the games is Kagiso Mogale who is now ranked number one in strikes. She said the performance of the team was outstanding until the last game and they represented the country well getting position eight from position 19.



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