Swimming sensation, Naomi Ruele has snubbed an invitation to represent Botswana in the CANA Zone IV 2020 swimming championships that are underway at the University of Botswana.
According to a team announcement of January 8, 2020, Ruele was to compete in the category of girls aged 17 and above alongside Ruvarashe Gondo, Tayla Vos, Leone Van Rooyen and Amantle Mogara.
Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, Kgaotsang Matthews told Mmegi Sport yesterday that Ruele was included in the team. “It means her training schedule in United States of America could not allow her to come here. Her absence did not affect the morale in the camp because there are other senior swimmers in the team,” she said.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare also did not show up. Matthews explained that Rakgare was not able to come due to other commitments. “Unfortunately he was not able to come, but we had invited him together with the Gaborone mayor. We were informed that he had other things planned for the day. He is elsewhere,” she said.
City mayor, Father Maphongo officially opened the championships.
She said they are also providing the team with transport to and from the competition venue.
“We did not get a kit from the BNSC and had to source it from our sponsors,” she said. Meanwhile, Matthews said she was impressed with the way the first day of the competition went.
The championships run until Sunday. Matthews said she expects the team to win more medals at the end of the competition. The championships have attracted 14 countries. They are Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Namibia,
Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nashua, Evolution Branding, Spar Botswana, Coca Cola, Wimpy, Cresta Hotels and Stanbic Bank sponsor the championships. The Botswana team is made up of 41 swimmers, who include 21 girls and 20 boys.