There was no love lost as badminton veterans from across the country slugged it out during the 2nd edition of the Gaborone Badminton Club’s (GBC) Veterans’ Tournament over the weekend.
Despite their age, there was nothing sluggish of the veterans’ games as they dished out some fierce and entertaining exchanges to the delight of spectators.
It was a game of passions and emotions as some of them muttered slight curses and stomped their feet on the ground at the loss of points.
The tournament, which was hailed as a success by its organizers, was also used to raise funds for charitable courses.
Speaking to Telegraph Sport, Jonathan Carline of GBC acknowledged that the success of the tournament even surpassed their expectations. He noted that while the tournament had no sponsors during its inaugural year, they have received much support from the business community this year. Another major boost for this year’s tournament was the increase in the number of veterans competing as well as spectators.
While only eight veterans had registered for last year’s tournament, over 20 players participated in this year’s event.
For his part, the chairman of GBC Moagi Gaborone informed Telegraph Sport that as members of the community, they decided to use the tournament to raise funds for charitable courses as a way of giving back to the community.
He says if the tournament grows as they wish it can, they intend to help as many charity organizations as they can across the country. He cited that another reason for organizing the tournament was to lure back the sport’s veterans to help resuscitate the sport.
He says it is their wish that these former players can have an input in the sport to make it a success.
Both Gaborone and Carline also said they were happy with the attendance and participation of the youth in this year’s tournament. The two veterans say by involving the youth in the tournaments, they hoped to reignite the youth’s passion for the sport.
The two day tournament was a good outing for Dr Zhang and Nhidi Gureja as they dominated the men and ladies categories, respectively.
Dr Zhang walked away with the singles gold medal before claiming gold in the doubles with his partner, Bernard Gondo.
It was three times lucky for Gureja as she beat Aisha Aslam to take the singles gold, before getting two more in the doubles and mixed doubles with Emma Hassen and Gaborone, respectively.
Awarding the prizes, the deputy mayor of Gaborone, Haskins Nkayigwa, said he was not pleased at the non appearance of both the Botswana National Sports Council and the Botswana National Olympic Committee.
The games were, however, graced b, among others, the founding father of badminton in Botswana, Shrikant Sohoni, and the President of Botswana Badminton Association, Ms Tjiyapo Mokhosoa.
Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Bagodi Ba Rona, a Non Governmental Organisation that helps the elderly.