University of Botswana is set to send off athletes to represent the country at the 9th All Africa University Games which are scheduled for the 2nd to the 6th July 2018 in Mekelle ÔÇô Ethiopia.
This was confirmed by the Director of Sports, Recreation and Culture at the UB Raj Rathedi, who hinted they will be sending a team of 21 athletes and officials to the games. The team will consist of student-athletes from volleyball, chess and athletics.
According to Rathedi, the majority of the team will be from volleyball who are expected to be comprisedof 12 volleyball players, with athletics providing just five (5) athletes and chess adding just one athlete.
Rathedi said the team will be accompanied by three 3 officials, being himself as the head of delegation, Botshelo Taolo as the general team manager, games administrator and volleyball coach whilst Justice Dipeba is the athletics coach.
Speaking in an interview, an optimistic Rathedi said despite all the challenges they are facing in preparations, they have the belief that their athletes will do well.
He further highlighted that such competitions are set to bring best athletes from all Universities in Africa; nonetheless they are positive that the team will bring victory home.
Rathedi highlighted that his team boasts some quality players within its ranks and they will be expected to lead team University of Botswana’s glory hunt at the games.
In volleyball, all eyes will be on Kutlwano Volleyball club’s Tiroyaone Otimile to lead the team to glory. Athletics on the other hand will be eyeing BOTESSA athletics champion Cliffton Meshack for inspiration while upcoming chess player Londani Tamuhla will be Botswana chess’ sole light at the games.
He said “When you have one of the best coaches such as Justice Justice Dipeba you are sure of excelling extremely well.”
Despite training issues as the schools have gone on winter break, Rathedi said they have put in measures to get the team ready for the games, hence his optimism that the team will represent the country well.
According to Rathedi, such games bring competition and team spirit to their students, hence leading to an effective utilization of the resources and facilities available at UB.
“At UB we pride ourselves in producing quality, competitive and outstanding performance athletes, not just for us but for the nation at large,” he added.
Rathedi also pointed out that UB Sports, Recreation and Culture is grateful to the University for its support. “UB is really helping us despite financial constraints but we appreciate all they are doing for us,” he added.
“We have a challenge of finances, as such we cannot send off a larger team though many of our students are capable of participating; our hands are tied due to the tight budget. We had to drop other athletes,” he added. He disclosed that
He urged parents and the community at large to be number one fans of athletes, to encourage them to strive to do their utmost best.
He also stated that sports could generate a variety of socio-economic benefits hence the need to rally behind the team.