The Botswana Bridge Federation recently held a tournament in remembrance of one of the sport’s valued teachers, Richard Dehmel, who passed away in 2006 and after whom the tournament was named.
Although he was disabled and walked on crutches, Dehmel is said to have been a multi-talented individual as he was a mathematics teacher, an athletics coach, a softball coach, a table tennis coach, a chess coach as well as a bridge coach, amongst others. He also had a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering.
The tournament was supported by Casmir Jongman and Kaone Mathuba, former student of Dehmel’s, who appear to be amongst the group of first students to be taught bridge by the man.
Their support also included funds amounting to P4 700. Dehmel, who came to Botswana in 1977, started teaching at Madiba Secondary School in 1984 where he first introduced the students to Bridge. He went on to improve the standards of the game in schools such as Gaborone Senior School, Lotsane Senior School, Maru-a ÔÇôpula School and Tutume McConnell Secondary School.
The tournament, known as the Richard Dehmel Schools Teams’ Tournament was held in Mahalapye at Madiba SSS.
The tournament was divided into two categories, the senior category and the junior category. It attracted schools, such as Pekenene, Morale, Dikgatho, Denjebuya, Dikgatho, and Mmachibaba, Morale, Orapa and Goldmine in the junior category.
Tutume, Francistown, Ledumang and Madiba, Lotsane, Kagiso, Shashe, FSS, and TMCC were in the senior category.
In the junior category Denjebuya Team C walked away with a floating shield, certificate and pocketed P800 in price money.
Pekenene Team A came second and won themselves P600, while Morale Team B managed third place and went home with P400.
Fourth place went to Dikgatho team A, which was presented with P200.
The secondary school category, however, saw Tutume McConnell College Team walking away with the number one spot and winning a floating shield and a certificate. They too, like their junior counterparts, walked away with P800. Their runner-ups were Francistown Senior Team B, which walked away with P600. Ledumang Team B came in in third place and took their share of P400.
Fourth place went to Madiba Team C, which took away P200.
Addressing those who were present for the prize giving ceremony, Jongman called upon everyone, especially the students to remember Dehmel as having been a good example to the nation.
“As students, the one thing that he would not like you to do would be to compromise your studies, although he was very much involved in extracurricular activities, he would be very upset if these affected one’s school work,” said Jongman.