Boitshwarelo Butale, a BDF Table Tennis Club-based player, has been ranked number one in Botswana, following her good performance in all tournaments since 2004.
In an interview with the Standard Sport, BTTA Public Relations Officer, Tiro Motswasele, explained that in each tournament they host, they rank players according to their performance and there are points accumulated.
“In each tournament, we rank players according to their performance and the points range from 67 to 16,” he said. He added that Butale has been playing well since 2004 and won almost everything that comes her way.
Further, not only did she win her singles but she also ranked number one in doubles with Tshepiso Rebatenne and ranked number two in mixed doubles with Motswasele who are both from the same BDF table tennis club.
Further, the young lady was also recently crowned Botswana National Sports Council best graduating sports person at the recent University of Botswana/Botswana College of Agriculture graduation ceremony that was held at UB Stadium in Gaborone.
The crowning also saw Butale walk away with a hospitality kit worth P1 000 from BNSC.
Talking to the Sunday Standard, the lady of the moment could not hide her happiness and noted that it is all because of hard work and determination that her talents have been realized and honoured in this way.
“Most importantly, I am so thrilled about the award because I was competing against other sporting codes that are highly recognized and it just got to show me that table tennis is also going somewhere,” she said.
Butale also explained that the award is further a form of reward for her efforts in sports. She emphasised that, as for the ranking, it’s been more than six years being on the number one ranking and it’s a great challenge.
“Truly speaking, it’s a challenge to be where I am. I am the target of everyone I play against and so I have to work extra hard to maintain my standard. This time around, however, I have not been training regularly because I am now working,” Butale added.
She, however, noted that she is also proud to be number one because she is a role model to upcoming stars, especially girls. She added that her drive is from the fact that table tennis is now part and parcel of her life.
“I see the players as part of my family and they always motivate me to train hard,” she said, adding that she has been playing table tennis since her days in junior secondary school and never looked back. Motswasele also shared the same joy with Butale, explaining that this is indeed a step in the right direction for the whole table tennis family in Botswana.
He said that it shows how rapid table tennis is growing in the country besides a few challenges they face. In a country where female sports talent is still at its infancy, the ranking system by BTTA and recognition by BNSC through UB make Butale one of the top female athletes this country continues to produce.