Tjiyapo Ronald Madeluka will next month bow out of the volleyball court for the very last time.
The Kutlwano and national team setter informed his club last week about his decision to retire. His contract with Kutlwano ends on July 31.
Sport Monitor that he felt that time is right for him to retire from active volleyball, which he has played from a young age. “I have done my part on the field of play. I have set records for the upcoming setters to beat and I want to now focus on advocating for Botswana players,” he said. Madeluka played a pivotal role in assisting local players, Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe, Tshiamo Chakalisa and Thapelo Kamberuka to sign with a Rwandan club, UTB.
He explained that retiring from playing does not mean he is leaving Kutlwano, adding that he is ready to serve in other positions. Madeluka is currently the club spokesperson. He first played for Victory Seekers before he joined ‘The Big House’ after completing Form 5. “The Big House approached me when I was playing for the national Under-19 team. By then I was still a player for Seekers,” he said.
Now at the ripe age of 37, Madeluka has a mountain of best setter awards which he amassed on numerous occasions in the league and tournaments.
“I have the best server and Most
When asked about how he felt about the absence of the league for more than two years, Madeluka lamented that those are wasted years. He said some players could have benefited from those seasons that passed without action.
“You cannot send an unfit player for trials abroad. Even sponsors are difficult to get because we market them through games,” he said.
Madeluka said Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) should be transparent and prioritise players. He said the executive committee should remember that they are in office to serve players. “Even the national team upkeep should be better than at clubs. At the moment, players benefit more from clubs than at the national team,” he said.
Despite being a colourful setter, Madeluka has never played abroad. He said that before volleyball, he is a nurse and it is his first love. “I am a nurse by profession and I love my job. So playing versus nursing, I go for the latter. However, I never wanted to play abroad,” Madeluka said.