The Vice president of the Botswana Ladies Golf Union (BLGU), Tiny Kgatlwane, is a good example that golf is a diverse sport, not only reserved for privileged people as stereotypes have it.
Kgatlwane, who is now Principal Executive Officer for Debswana, first got introduced to the sport in 2000, while she was working in Uganda. “I think it was a calling for me to join golf because I have always been a sports person,” she said. “I played for the national squad; I did aerobics but when I finally settled for golf, my passion was more than immense; it was exactly what I needed.”
She went on to say that she has made it her task to make sure that Batswana women take an interest in golf as an enjoyable sport that could help focus their energies and instill discipline in them.
“Before I started playing golf, I was a bundle of nerves, and I was quite impatient, but people will be surprised how a little white ball can help one build up their concentration ability while teaching them the art of patience,” said Kgatlwane.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard, Kgatlwane revealed that the BLGU has a developmental programme that tries to introduce golf to schools, and is being supported by companies such as the First National Bank and they had received the support of the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC).
“What is of concern though is that the majority of those joining the sport are boys; we get very few girls showing interest, but we are planning to change that,” said Kgatlwane.
The challenges facing Kgatlwane and those in the union is overcoming the stereotypes pinned on the sport. She is quite adamant that most people have the wrong impression about golf.
“First of all, golf is not only a men’s sport, women worldwide are doing tremendously well; it’s just that they don’t receive as much exposure as their male counterparts. Some are even playing it professionally. Secondly, it’s not for rich people only; golf is for everyone who has passion for the sport and is interested in taking it up. There are currently no requirements needed for anybody to join the sport; all that’s necessary is interest and passion,” said Kgatlwane.
There are currently two golf clubs in Gaborone: the Phakalane Golf Club and the Gaborone Golf Club and those interested in joining the sporting code should approach any one of the two clubs, looking at the area that would suit them best.
The union also has a website address: www.BotswanaGolfunion.com.