By Patience Lephogole
Botswana’s Badminton World Federation (BWF) accredited umpire Emmanuel Kgaboetsile is among officials at the ongoing Malaysia Masters 2019.
The games started yesterday (Tuesday) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and will come to an end on the 20th of this month (January).
Malaysia Masters, which is organised by the Badminton Association of Malaysia is the second tournament of the 2019 BWF World Tour and also part of the Malaysia Masters championships, which has been held since 2009.
The reigning Botswana National Sport Commission 2018 Sports Person of the Year has expressed happiness with the invitation, saying it is a great opportunity for him and the country as well.
Speaking in an interview to The Telegraph, a delighted Kgaboetsile said the invite is a result of patience and hard work. “For me, being invited to umpire at the games is of great significance to me to increase my experience as this is a big tournament sanctioned by BWF. There was an amendment of BWF laws last year and this tournament, being the first for this year, means I will be able to partake and apply them,” he said.
He added that, “to officiate the first international tournament at the beginning of the year is a huge achievement as we will be required to set a certain standard for others who will come after us in other tournaments especially with the newly introduced system.”
Kgaboetsile further highlighted that he will come back home and share the information with fellow officials.
“I have been helping in Botswana with workshops for officials, when I get back I won’t hesitate to share with them knowledge acquired from the tournament during workshops on current updates, hence improving our badminton state in the country,” he said.
As one of the most recognised umpires, it seems 2019 will be a busy year for Kgaboetsile. “From Malaysia, I will also officiate at another tournament at Birmingham for the All England Championship. This is one of the big three along with the one from Indonesia and China with a prize of over 1million,” he added.
“This other one will enhance my understanding too, especially since players will be coming from Malaysia tournaments hence giving competitive games throughout the tournament,” Kgaboetsile noted. He further noted that it is not his first invite as he has been invited for several times for different duties, from juniors, masters to super series tournaments.