Sunday, November 29, 2020

Botswana Volleyball Federation president urges re-think of team preparations

President of the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF), Daniel Molaodi, has called for a review of the processes to release funds early for national team preparations.

He said this could help the teams prepare better for international competitions.

The BVF President said this during a short ceremony to welcome home the Botswana men’s volleyball team which had been in Kenya to compete in the final round of the Africa Group qualifiers for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Volleyball Men’s World Championship billed for Poland this year.

Despite performing valiantly, the team failed to qualify after losing two consecutive games to both Egypt and Kenya. Going into the third and last round of the qualifiers, team Botswana had won all the games in their first two qualifiers, an eight games winning streak.

The winning streak continued into the first two games of the last round of qualifiers as the local lads handily dispatched of Zambia and Cape Verde 3-0 and 3-1 respectively.

The wheels however came off the Botswana team’s chariot in their third game as they were humbled 3-0 by Egypt before losing 3-2 to hosts Kenya in their last outing.

While the odds were always stacked against Botswana, considering that Egypt and Kenya are ranked above them, Molaodi believes the little time the team had in camp to prepare had an impact on the performance against both Egypt and Kenya.

He said due to the delays in releasing funds for the preparations, the team went into camp only two weeks prior to the competition.

Molaodi said this was not enough considering the caliber of the teams they were to come up against.

“Considering all the given difficulties and those not mentioned here, the team did very well,” the BVF President said.

The BVF President said for the future he hopes there will be a review of processes between the sporting codes, the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to reduce such delays. Earlier in his welcome speech to the team, BNSC Chairperson Solly Reikeletseng defined the team’s achievements during the entire qualifying rounds as “a remarkable milestone,” as the country had never gone “this far and did so well”.

That the country managed to win all their first two qualifiers as well as hold their own against Africa’s powerhouses in the final round of qualifiers is a cause for optimism.

“While as a nation we had wished to qualify for the World Championships at this recent Kenya encounter, I cannot hide my excitement for the achievement made in the process until we finally got the bronze medal position we are coming back with,” Reikeletseng said.

He explained that the achievements are a demonstration of the long-term investment that has been made in volleyball.
Reikeletseng encouraged the returning athletes “to take a step back and prepare for other future encounters with elevated spirit.”
For his part, the BVF Vice President Technical, George Keotsene said Botswana had learnt valuable lessons during their stay in Kenya.

Keotsene, who was the team’s Head of Delegation at the tournament,t said whatever they learnt at the games would be included in a report to the BNSC so as to ensure better preparations in future.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.