Long serving Kalavango Volleyball Club ladies coach Ruth Batsho Mbangwa was sacked last month following players’ complaints of ill-treatment.
Reports suggest that some disgruntled players complained to management that they couldn’t deal with the coach’s harsh attitude during training sessions which they claimed affected their performance.
Coach Mbangwa found herself without a place in the 2016 team structure despite leading the club to 3rd position in both the league and cup competition last season. Her commendable performance earned her a spot in the ladies national team as assistant coach.
Mbangwa said her dismissal came as a shock after serving many years at the club as a player and coach.
“I was called by the club’s top management to notify me that they had decided to sideline me from the club’s duties both on and off the field because they had received complaints from players that I am ill-treating them. This surprised me because my players had not shown any signs of unhappiness during our spell together” she said.
“I never picked any signs of dejection amongst them. I have been relating very well with my players because none of them approached me to complain. I treated them just like my children and I did not expect them to feel uncomfortable around me to that extent”
Reports further attributed the resignation of some certain senior players from the club to the coach’s toughness towards them which started at the last year’s Africa Club Championships in Swaziland.
Coach Mbangwa said she was shocked to learn that the senior players who lodged the complaints against her were the same players who she thought knew her better.
“Some of these players we played together during my playing times and we know each other better. Why would I mistreat them now. For starters I recruited and introduced some of them to the club while they were still young and clueless about volleyball” she added.
The axed coach maintained that she expects a certain level of seriousness during training and games and she will carry those virtues where ever she goes in the best interest of discipline and delivery in the sport.
The move might see Mbangwa lose her place at the national team as the assistant coach because to be part of the national team technical team one should be a coach in the elite league.
“The national team selection is based on the performance at club level and I was appointed national team assistant coach based on my performance. It’s going to be difficult to retain the position because I am club less but I am confident that I will find a new home soon. I am available to any club that might need my service” she concluded.
For his part Kalavango Volleyball Club Chairperson Lesedi Hule said as per the club’s norm they asses every department of the club each year and change coaches and that Mbangwa was not fired but relegated to the club’s development structures.
“Mbangwa was redeployed to development structures, we did no fire her contrary to what we hear in the corridors, we are still in good terms and we replaced her by Isaac Thengelani who is fully in charge of the ladies team” He said.