Kalavango men’s team will make its debut at the regional Zone 6 tournament in Durban, after years of failed attempts.
All along, Kalavango has only managed to finish outside the podium position, meaning they could not participate at the annual, regional tournament.
This time around under the guidance of Kabelo Marumo, they stamped their authority and finished in position three with 56 points, which gave them the ticket to compete at the tournament. Other men’s teams that have qualified for the regional championship are BDF VI, Police VI and Kutlwano. On the women’s side, MagStimela, Mafolofolo and Kutlwano will represent Botswana.
Marumo said his players are ready to make their mark at the tournament. He views the competition as a learning curve for them and that they are going to the South Africa’s coastal city to prepare for the future.
“We are making our debut and it means a lot to my players. Of course, the majority of them have never set a foot on such a big stage. We expect tough opposition,” he said.
Marumo said Botswana used to be the regional powerhouse especially in the women’s competition. He said countries, such as Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa have now made strides in their development and pose a threat.
Kutlwano women’s team coach, Dopp Popo said his side is ready to compete. He said his players had shown improvement in attending training sessions unlike when the league was still on.
He said they even managed to train twice a day. The Zone has approved 17 men and 11 women teams to participate in the championship. eSwatini
South Africa has six teams.
Zambia has one women’s team and two men’s teams. Zimbabwe has the highest number with five men’s teams and two women’s teams.
The teams would be divided into three pools with five teams each and one pool with six teams on the men’s side.
In the women section, there will be two pools with three teams each and two pools with four teams each.
The host team will be in Pool A and the defending champions into Pool D.
Teams that participated in the 2017 games would be allocated into the pools following the last year’s ranking on serpentine system starting with Pool A. All other teams would be allocated to the pools by drawing.
Meanwhile, volleyball held their annual league awards on Wednesday.
Women: Champions (MagStimela), runner up (Kutlwano) and third position (Mafolofolo), best server (Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe, MagStimela), best libero (Gontle Goirwang, Mafolofolo), best setter (Kelebogile Mahupela, Mafolofolo), best attacker (Gasekgonwe), best blocker (Tshiamo Chakalisa, Kutlwano), MVP (Gasekgonwe) and best coach (Maboka Molefi, MagStimela)
Men: Champions (Police), runner up (BDF), third (Kalavango), best server (Phenyo Thebeng, Police), best libero (Mefferey Chindumbo, Spiking Stars), best setter (Kesaobaka Lenkopanye, BDF), best attacker (Phemelo Lekoko, Kalavango), best blocker (Moemedi Siphambe, Police), MVP (Alec Engleton, Police) and best coach (Shimaka Ngwanaotsile, Police.)