After making history last week by qualifying for the All Africa Games, the women national volleyball team has now set their eyes on the games themselves.
Mission Mereyotlhe, the Sports Development Officer of the Botswana Volleyball Federation, said that the team will engage in a series of international matches before the games start.
He said despite qualifying for the first time, they would not be going there to make up the numbers, but to compete.
“We are going to organize a series of international friendly matches to give the team necessary exposure. We have several new faces in the team but they are growing with every match,” he said.
Botswana women’s team qualified after beating South Africa in a tough encounter.
For so many years, the South Africans have been the stumbling block for Botswana to qualify for the All Africa Games and now that jinx has since been broken.
The South Africans on the other hand showed their dominance on the men side. They knocked out Botswana and qualified.
On how the women’s team managed to defeat the South Africans, Mereyotlhe said the team was thoroughly prepared and the South Africans could not withstand their heat. “We were really prepared for the qualifications of the All Africa Games and focused. If you recall well we went for a three week intensive training camp in Thailand and it has paid off. We did not really have time for the festive season because we were working hard. Also before leaving, the team was in good shape because our league had just ended. After the league, our top teams were busy in the Zone VI Club Championships,” he said.
Mereyotlhe also emphasized that the team also played a series of friendly matches against one of Africa’s most powerful volleyball nations, Kenya, just before they left for the All Africa qualification matches.
The All Africa Games will be held in Mozambique latter this year and it has always been difficult for group teams to qualify. Normally individual sports have been the ones dominating the qualifications for the Games.