The Botswana Golf Union (BGU) has failed to field a girls’ side for the upcoming All Africa Junior Golf tournament, which the country hosts from March 11 to 15, 2019 at the Phakalane Golf Course and Resort.
The tournament draws 13 countries from the continent, but Botswana will be without representatives in the girls’ section.
Instead five boys, Agang Diraditsile, Lemogang Masalila, Philip Collop, Leruri Lemogang and Lerako ‘Bigboy’ Molefhe, who played at the Malaysian World Kids Championships last year, will represent Botswana. BGU president, Enoch Mushango said they do not have a girls’ team since the sport is not included in the school curriculum and this disadvantages them. In most cases football and netball are the sports that are given priority in schools and as a result, students do not have the opportunity to explore golf.
BGU chairperson, Robert Mpabanga said Botswana did not participate at the last tournament in Morocco due to lack of funds.
“Some of the challenges we have encountered are that the team does not have an existing league structure that can create competitiveness. The other one being that Botswana does not have dedicated facilities for junior golf development.
In some countries, municipal courses cover this gap. However, some improvement is ongoing as the Botswana PGA, Nomads Botswana, Gaborone Golf Club and Orapa Golf Club have raised a hand to assist with junior development programmes,” Mpabanga said.
The Avani Gaborone Resort and Casino will accommodate the teams. Participating teams are expected to arrive on March 10.
Angola, Eswatini, South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Gabon, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ghana will join the hosts, Botswana, for the five-day tournament.
Some of the tournament sponsors are the Botswana National Sport Commission, Royal Ancient, Gems Cambridge International School in Kampala and Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort.