Botswana Amateur Fencing Federation (BAFF)’s sport development initiative has received a boost with an addition of two more qualified fencing masters.
This follows the recent graduation of Sam Chape and Aobakwe Modise, who are now Fencing Masters.
The two join Karabo Thobega in the category, increasing the number of master fencers at BAFF to three.
Chape and Modise, who arrived in the country this past week, were sent to Dakar, Senegal, early this year to undergo a one-year coaching course and have since successfully completed the programme.
Throughout the gruelling one-year programme, it is said the athletes acquired critical skills of the game such as the weapons epee, foil and sabre. These are said to be the key tactics applied in search of points in fencing.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Chape said he would use skills acquired to focus more on grassroots development and sensitising about the game.
“There is just a lot that needs to be done in the local game especially at grassroots level. Locally we lack experienced fencing players so it is critical that we also target coaches and officials. My dream is to train coaches and referees so that they pass it on to youngsters.”
“I also wish to work with youngsters as they are better placed to grasp with ease and they are bound to be the future of local fencing. There is nothing impossible in sport, it is all about hard work,” Chape said.
Modise said the bigger picture is to have an academy that will take fencing in Botswana to greater heights.
“We learnt a lot during our training in Senegal and it is critical for us to pass on skills to local youngsters. I just hope in the near future we will be able to start up an academy that will assist in nurturing young fencing players,” said Modise.
She further noted that as a master it is upon her to elevate the local game to a competitive level against African counterparts.
“We need to be competitive in Africa and worldwide so my intentions in this game are to see to it that I contribute to its growth. With my experience now, I will push an extra mile to educate about fencing,” the 19-year-old explained.
“I have learnt a lot of aspects in this game, I might be on my third year but the masters programme opened my eyes as we were a group of athletes from across the continent training together,” she concluded.