Bowling star, Lesego Motladiile is on cloud nine after being inducted into the bowls senior national team. At the age of 23, Motladiile is the youngest member of the team that is preparing for international competitions, starting with the Power Pairs in Helderberg, Cape Town in South Africa.
The Botswana Bowling Association (BBA) has selected a team that would represent Botswana in all international games between now and the end of 2022. The Power Pairs tournament will be held next month and is Motladiile's first major tournament. Speaking to Mmegi Sport, Motladiile said she has gained valuable experience in bowling from a very young age. “I have had the opportunity to represent Botswana at junior level in the World Youth Championships in 2017 and the Peter Richards competition in 2019 where I and my partner, Marea Modutlwa scooped a gold medal,” she said. Motladiile said she is honoured and thrilled to be making her senior national team debut. “It has been my long-term goal for a while now and words cannot explain how I feel. I am very excited and cannot wait to show the world what I have to offer.
I believe I am slowly following on my father’s (Oabona) footsteps,” she said. Motladiile is excited to be part of the team that will play in the Power Pairs tournament scheduled for Cape Town at the Helderberg Bowling Club, Somerset West from December 17-19, 2021. She said her expectations are high for the tournament. She believes that it is going to be an extremely competitive tournament as it attracts top tier bowlers from Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. “I believe this competition is going to give me great exposure as a youth player and hope it would motivate and encourage other youth out there to join bowling,” she said. Motladiile said looking back at the Peter Richards competition results, and the work the team has been putting in, she expects the team to do well at this competition and hopes to bring a medal home.
The BBA has selected 10 players who have been paired into five teams. Coach Gase Pabalelo said preparations are underway and the pairs teams are practising at their respective clubs as well as doing weekly assessments. “Once the suspension of sport activities was lifted, a national squad training camp was conducted from November 6-8 in Gaborone.
The purpose of the camp was to select the final 10 national team players that will represent Botswana in all international games with immediate effect until the end of 2022,” she said. Pabalelo said they also wanted to conduct a markers exam for the national team. She explained the exam is entry-level for all technical officials.
The exam provides new bowlers with an insight into the conduct, relationships and protocol for officiating single matches. Meanwhile, the BBA hosted the Naledi Motors Commercial Classic Pairs tournament over the weekend at the Gaborone Bowls Club. Reid and Richard Ditaolana from Jwaneng Club scooped gold. Phikwe's Khumo Kebalatetse and Kabelo Ngwako from Jwaneng settled for second position. John Evans and Reginald Hirschfeldt of Gaborone Club took home the bronze medal.
The full national team Men: Remmy Kebapetse, Joseph Nthobelang, Charles Diteko, Kabo Gaboutloeloe, Regent Reid and Edwin Nyoka (reserve). Women: Marea Modutlwa, Molatedi Douma, Motladiile, Lebogang Dikupe, Doreen Moleleki and Boikhutso Moleleki (reserve).