By Patience Lephogole
The Director of Botswana Traditional Games (BOTGA) Evah Kesiilwe says they are finalising preparations for the International Jukskei Championships which will be held at Kroonstad, South Africa from December 8th to the 14th. The games will be played under three categories being the Under 13, Under 16 and Under 19 and countries which will be battling it out include hosts South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia.
“Preparations for the championships are ongoing. The team has been rigorously preparing for competition and we are satisfied that they will bring home the medals,” Kesiilwe said. With regards to the means of preparations being used, Kesiilwe said the team has been involved in several friendly games. “There have been friendly games and regular training sessions which kept the team busy. The championship has been spiced with other activities such as hamburger challenge, colour race and poems,” he said.
Moreover, Kesiilwe added that he is optimistic with the way Jukskei game is growing, adding that it shows that with time the game will become well known as much as other games. “We have taken the team to various places such as Thamaga where we recently launched Jukskei club at Western Primary School. Just over 400 kids were introduced to the sport,” he says.
He further said this initiative helped in shaping and perfecting the mental setup of the players. Moreover, Kesiilwe highlighted that they will keep their training schedules and adhere to it in preparations for the tournament. “We will keep the same training procedure, intensify it if need be so that we keep the team active, fit and ready to conquer,” he says. He also indicated that Botswana does not have enough resources to take all teams for both girls and boys in all categories, so they will have to carefully select the teams to take along to the games.
He added that despite financial constraints they are hopeful that they will be able to perform well. “We still plead with sponsors to assist the team with other equally important components that will boost their morale. These may include the team’s kit amongst others,” he added.
He says at the moment, they are engaged in talks with other stakeholders such as the Botswana National Sports Council and the different sporting codes to see how all programmes can complement each other to ensure better preparations for the athletes.