The Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) has identified two of their athletes, Advent Monyatsiwa (61kg) and Thebe Loabile (73kg’s) to groom and support them for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The two were identified through the BJF Talent Identification Programme. BJF President, Estony Hattingh, told Sunday Standard that the two have shown outstanding performances and dedication to Judo. She further stated that Monyatsiwa’s talent in Judo has also been recognized by the Japanese community that has also blessed him with a sponsorship that will see him get trained and prepared ahead of the Olympic Games.
“Monyatsiwa has been given an opportunity by the YAMAHA GRAND CHURCH of Japan to move to Japan and concentrate on his Judo and he will be based at the Tenri University in Japan,” she said.
Hattingh further said although there are no costs associated with being in Japan, there are, however, costs associated with him getting qualified for the Olympic Games as per the International Judo Federation Olympic Qualification criteria.
Loabile, who has been living in Botswana all his life and has shown great potential and dedication to Judo, will be trained in Botswana before being sent to the United Kingdom where he will be stationed.
“Plans with Loabile are that he will remain in Botswana until October then he will be stationed out in the United Kingdom with the help of the International Olympic Committee’s solidarity programmes,” Hattingh asserted. The two will leave the country next week Tuesday for Egypt, Cairo, where they will be attending the African Judo Union International Training Camp from the 3rd of March to the 12th.
“It will be part of the preparations for London 2012 Olympic training qualification programme,” said Hattingh.
She further noted that this will be a good opportunity for Loabile and Monyatsiwa to benchmark them and know how to move forward in their training programme.
“The best African countries will be attending the event, countries like Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Libya. Our team can learn a few things from them and hopeful they will also teach them,” she said.
In addition, Hattingh stated that in their Judo to School Project they are hoping to add six more government schools, noting that, “last year we experienced consolidation and growth and we also came out as a much stronger unit and our hardworking and dedicated volunteers are in the pursuit of Judo growth in Botswana,” she said.
She further asserted that they have established themselves as an active and productive partner to many, adding that, “the world of sports depends on strategic partnerships between the federation and clubs, coaches, referees, officials, parents, players, funding partners, control bodies, support bodies and a host of other fixtures in the world of sport. The BJF, therefore, is the facilitator of these relationships and partnerships in the judo world in Botswana,” she said.