The Botswana Cricket Association (BCA)’s effort to develop the sport of cricket at grass roots level appears to be paying dividends. This was evident last week when a record number of primary school teachers attended the coaching clinics organised by the BCA at the Oval ground. Close to 40 teachers attended the clinics that were conducted by Fuad Waggie, an experienced cricket coach from South Africa. What made BCA even prouder was the fact that some teachers came from as far as Maun.
The BCA development officer, Girish Ramakrishma, also lauded the teachers’ turnover saying it is a sign of good things to come.
“We are definitely very happy with the turnout of the teachers. This shows that in not too distant a time, cricket will be much more popular in this country. These teachers are going to deal with kids and kids learn easily. Also looking at the fact that some teachers are coming from as far as Maun, the sport will also develop in the northwestern part of this country,” he said.
Ramakrishma also said bearing in mind that Botswana is now an accredited member of International Cricket Council and also now ranked number 30 of the 101 countries in the world, the coaching clinics would help them a lot.
Ramakrishma also told Sunday Standard that they chose the first week of November for the clinics because latter on the teachers would be busy with examinations, adding that they would organise similar courses next year.
On the other hand Waggie said Botswana is a developing nation and a lot still lies ahead to catch up with most of the advanced countries, adding that there is a lot of enthusiasm. He said the teachers who participated in the coaching clinics are willing to learn and take the sport to another level.
“You are going to produce future cricketers of Botswana and I am very impressed by the way you conduct yourselves. There is a lot of enthusiasm. The few days I have been here were not enough and I wanted to stay for more. But the little knowledge you gained can take you somewhere,” he said. Waggie mainly concentrated on batting, bowling and fielding skills which he said are the basics of the game.
Dabulani Buthali, the executive committee member of the Botswana National Sports Council, hailed the efforts of the BCA under trying circumstances. “Cricket in this country is facing huge challenges such as shortage of training grounds, but that does not deter you in your efforts to develop the sport. Also gone are the days when traditional sports codes were always dominant. Now we see other codes like cricket, golf and rugby getting recognition and that is very good for the country.”