Locally-based company, KGK Diamond Polishing Company in partnership with the Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) has offered five table tennis players job opportunities to ease the financial burden brought about by the suspension of sport activities.
The quintet of Agang Molefe, Tshephang Kebodiwang, Fela Faith Mashugwa, Thabang Seloka and Pako Mooketsi will undergo a six-month training prior to full-time employment with the Gaborone-based company and are expected to start their duties early next month. The move was facilitated by the India High Commission in Botswana. “The BTTA is pleased with the developments as the good news come at a stage where a job of any nature is rare to find and for young athletes to explore this opportunity is a step in the right direction as it helps them to gain knowledge and skills in the diamond industry at a prime age,” part of the statement from BTTA reads. Speaking to Mmegi Sport, BTTA public relations officer, Tiro Motswasele said they received several applications from aspirants for the job opportunities and selection criteria were used to trim down the names to five.
“We wrote to our clubs asking them to nominate two players each, so we had received around 12 or 14 names in total. The executive committee had to
To vet out some names, firstly we wanted someone who never went to a tertiary school whose highest level of education is a secondary school and the other thing we looked at was the players’ economic background. We selected people who would not only help improve their livelihoods but also of their families’,” Motswasele said. He added that the BTTA was in talks to come up with opportunities to help the players whose livelihoods have been heavily impacted by the suspension of competitive play locally. A table tennis player can make an average of P4,000 from tournament wins in a month.
“There are some in the pipeline. In table tennis, players need money to register regardless if they have a job or not. The equipment is also expensive hence why we are working hard to help ease the load brought by the COVID-19, there are no tournaments so players’ opportunities to make some income are no longer available,” Motswasele added.