In their first ever-international tournament, the national Para Table Tennis team targets a silver medal at the AUSC Region 5 games to be held in Lesotho next month.
The team debuted in the last year’s edition of the tournament hosted in Gaborone and scooped a gold medal in the women’s singles.
Speaking to Monitor Sport, the team’s coach Godiraone Bagwasi bemoaned the poor preparations. He said the number of players has reduced from four to just three this year as he decried the lack of funds ahead of the regional spectacular.
“We are promising to bring a silver (medal) home, we cannot colour the medal just yet but we are promising to bring at least a silver one. But we did not have the best of the preparations.
We are going into camp on the 23rd, we have not really had the type of preparations we would have liked to have. But we are working on it and we are hoping to make use of the time in camp.
The issue has been the finances; to go into camp we need funds. The players do not have the equipment all that needs funds,” Bagwasi said.
He also said there has been improvement in the Para Table Tennis two years after its introduction on the local scenes.
“The players show that they really want to play the sport. As coach your duty is just to develop that special connection with them.
From here I think we just need to take the sport to the development structures because it’s clear that we have abundance of talent here,” he said.
Botswana will send an 11-member team including the Para team to the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho to be held from December 8 to 12, 2019.
The men’s team consists of the top ranked player, Thenolo Mooketsi and former number one Thobo Matlhatsi both from BDF table tennis club while Tshepiso Rebatenne and Boitshwarelo Butale are included in the women’s team.
Meanwhile over the weekend, Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) unveiled the national team kits.
The apparel is part of the four-year sponsorship deal with international multi-sports brand, Stag International.
The home kit is a blue shirt and black shorts while the away kit is the black shirt and black shorts.
The Travelling Team:
Men: Bakang Maloka, Thobo Matlhatsi, Tshenolo Mooketsi, Mompati Chabe
Women: Tshepiso Rebatenne, Boitshwarelo Butale, Olorato Ramagapu, Oratile Kedisaletse
Men: Lefika Mahudiri, Quett Tshimane
Woman: Onnetse Isaiah
Coaches: Welcome Tema, Kennete Santudu, Godiraone Bagwasi (Para Team)