Botswana Wrestling Federation (BWF) hopes to make its maiden appearance at the 2021 African Wrestling Championships.
The Championships are scheduled to be hosted in Marrakech, Morocco from the 2nd until 7th February.
The federation has selected two athletes for an extensive training prior to the competitions.
Moagi Sharp, BWF President, has said although traveling outside the country for sport activities is currently suspended, the federation will remain optimistic that the government will lift the ban before the tournament starts.
BWF will be looking forward for the championship not to be postponed. Last year contest was held in Tunisia, but the local athletes were not able to compete due to the outbreak of corona virus.
BWF has never participated in the African Championships, since it’s establishment in 2003.However the wrestlers were still in the development stage for the past three years.
Sharp said the development of athletes delayed the federation to compete in the African championships because of drilling young athletes into the cadet category.
Wrestling is an Olympic sport, which means that grassroots development is essential. BWF has managed to produce six cadet athletes from ages 10 to 15 years.
“We are restricted to traveling in this era of the pandemic however we will continue preparing for the African championship. If Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) could allow minor sport codes to participate at the international competitions and the Olympics they would reach the goal of five Olympic medals,” Sharp observed.
He added that BWF identified Obakeng File who competed three times in Namibia in 2015,2016 and 2017 as well as Kabo Macmillan. Sharp noted that the duo received Gold medals after competing with top rated players, like Asino Festus who holds the continental title.
BWF is currently faced with challenges of funds but there is something from the Grant that the federation can use if allowed to do so for traveling costs and doing COVID-19 tests.