Manaka: From filling in, to fulfilling career


Jury Manaka landed in the softball diamond by chance after being asked to step in while the regular team was away on a school trip. Today, he stands as one of the most decorated softball players of his generation.

Manaka started off as a football player at Kgamanyane Junior Secondary School in Mochudi, but his sporting career path took a dramatic twist in 1997, when the regular softball team was away on a school trip. Manaka and others were requested to fill in, but little did he know that his career in softball had taken off.  He said he instantly fell in love with the sport, particularly the catcher’s protective clothing.

“After that match I did not return to football,” he said. His coach was the school head, one Mr Masendu and Tshepo Letsholo who is currently playing for Bears. At senior school, he had McDonald Fologang and Joe Moroka (former national team captain) as his coaches. Manaka said the best achievement at school was winning a bronze medal in 2000 during the Senior Schools Championship. Manaka played for Mochudi Raiders during his school days and after completing Form Five, he joined BDF IX.

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