The Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC)’s endeavour to develop beach volleyball in the country is gaining traction.
Acting in unison, the BVF and the BNOC yesterday hosted ‘a pilot Beach Volleyball talent identification programme’ under the Botswana Long Term Athletic Development (BLTAD).
The programme follows closely on a successful five day coaches training course for beach volleyball which was conducted by Athanasios Papageorgiou in May earlier this year.
With beach volleyball being an Olympic sport and regarded as very cheap, it has now been eyed as the most viable ‘platform to help Botswana compete with other countries on a level playing field’ given that Botswana is short on resources.
Under the volleyball long term athlete development programme, both the BVF and BNOC seek to pave way for young athletes to reach greater heights in the sport.
Aside from fine tuning the skills obtained during the training by coaches, the mini tournament was also used to identify talent among young aspiring beach volleyballers.
According to BNOC liaison and logistics officer Modise Mgadla, the main intention is to engage the coaches and utilise skills they acquired, as well as initiate an environment where athletes benefit from practice.
With only four junior secondary schools identified for the pilot project, Mgadla said ‘only seven coaches who excelled during the coaches training course will be used in the actual coaching’ but said almost all the twenty two who had participated in the programme will have a chance to practice their skills.
Concerning the selection of schools taking part in the pilot project, Mgadla said they only opted for four schools that were already involved in the programme.
The four are Bokamoso JSS, Mogoditshane CJSS, Sir Seretse Khama Memorial JSS, and Makgadikgadi CJSS.
On the format of play, Mgadla had this to say; “This tournament consisted of three different brackets, boys 2-on-2, girls 2-on-2 and mixed boys and girls 4-on-4. Each game was played to a single set of 21 points,” he explained.
He said the mini tournament marked the end of a pilot project which had been undertaken to identify beach volleyball talent in Botswana.
‘’As you are aware, we have been running a pilot Beach Volleyball talent identification programme in collaboration with the Botswana Volleyball Federation through the assistance of the Queen Elizabeth Scholars Initiative (QESI) interns. The programme came to an end on the 18th August,” he concluded.