Butale lands Diteemane coaching job

National team gig: Butale
National team gig: Butale

Seasoned Boitshwarelo 'Bizo' Butale has been promoted to Diteemane's technical team ahead of the AUSC Region 5 Games to be held in Angola in late June.

Butale was roped into the Diteemane Under-11 squad in December for the 2023 ITTF Southern Africa Hopes and Challenge Championship held in Windhoek, Namibia. The veteran player has over 25 years as a player and has been a player-coach in recent seasons. 'Bizo' currently heads a Re Ba Bona Ha programme in Mabeleapodi. She joins former national number one, Thobo Matlhatsi, ahead of the regional championship to be held from June 29 to July 1.

The Botswana Table Tennis Association's (BTTA) public relations officer, Tshegofatso Malepa, said the recent change to the technical team was to include a female coach on the bench to promote gender equality. "Also, the new additions are driven by the goal to enhance the performance and competitiveness of our players on both regional and international stages. The newly appointed coaches hold the highest coaching licences recognised globally, including ITTF Level 2 certifications," Malepa said. She added the move also aims to bring advanced training techniques and international experience to the athletes to ensure the best possible preparations. The new-look Diteemane coaching team will select a preliminary squad during the Phoenix Assurance Botswana Super 8 Championship to be held over the weekend at the Babusi Hall in Gaborone. The tournament features the eight top-ranked players with only four spots available per gender group.

Malepa told MmegiSport that the technical team is also assessing four players based in India as the battle for places in the Diteemane squad intensifies. The Diteemane coaching team is assessing Top Spin's trio of Tshenolo Mooketsi, Tshireletso Samuel, and Tshephang Motlhamme alongside, Sean Dekop who is in the books of Stag Academy in India. "This assessment is crucial in determining their form and fitness levels compared to those who have secured their spots through local competitions. The performance of these players in their respective leagues and training programmes will be closely monitored. It is important to note that their inclusion in the team will not disadvantage players who have excelled in local tournaments. Instead, it aims to ensure the most talented and prepared players represent Botswana," Malepa told MmegiSport. From the weekend's Super 8 Championship, the BTTA has lined up several tournaments to offer players additional opportunities to prepare as well as a training camp that is to be held in June.

The Super 8 Championship offers P5, 000 winner's prize money, with the silver medallist pocketing P3, 000 while the third-place finishers take home P2, 000.

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In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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