The Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) sent a delegation of 4 members to Morocco to attend the Junior African Judo Championships that took place in Oudja over from 22-26 July 2009.
In the delegation was Estony Hattingh- National Coach, Neo Kapeko – SOS Judo Academy, Ms. Tiroyaone Kapeko – SOS Judo Academy and Tommy Majeremare, Baobab Judo Club.
Hattingh, who is also BJF president and national coach, stated that, “The championship is one of the qualifying events for the 2010 Youth Olympics Games and it was a first for Botswana to send a team to the Junior Championships.”
She noted that the team had performed exceptionally well just as she had hoped when they left for the championships.
“They did very well, given the fact that they were the youngest in the whole competition. One of the athletes, Tiroyaone Kapeko, managed 5th place.”
In their efforts to grow the Judo sport in the country, Hattingh stated that they have, for the first time in their history, hosted a coaching course for affiliated members.
The coaching course, which was held at the SOS Judo Academy in Tlokweng, attracted 19 members, amongst them senior members from the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks Judo Club and members from the SOS Judo Academy.
She noted that the coaching course was run by two experts judo coaching, Sensei Vincent Redpath and Sensei Esme, Joan Redpath, both from South Africa.
“The two coaches are both highly qualified coaches in South Africa and have also represented South Africa at international level,” she said.
She further explained that BJF identified two tiers of members to attend the course, the first being members who qualify under the coaching policy as level 1 coaches, and the second being level 1 development coaches. She noted that the development coaches that were identified are members that are graded green belt and lower, with the minimum age being 15.
“These coaches will then be under the guidance and tuition of the current qualified coaches in Botswana,” she added.
In addition, Hattingh said that the members also participated in a level 1-referee course and the BJF envisages that these members will go onto higher levels of referee’s within the next 12 months.
“It is our short term vision to send these members to the 2010 South African International Open Championships as fully fledged referee’s and our long term vision is to send at least two referees to the African Judo Championships in 2012,” she said. “The coaching course went very well. There was the theoretical part and then the practical part but I cannot tell at this moment whether our participants passed or not because there are practical exams that they have to undergo first,” she said.