The Botswana Ladies Golf Union (BLGU) has sent a four-woman team to for the All Africa Team Championships in Nigeria.
The team is made up of Sandra Hughes (also the team manager), Connie Paull, Tracy Marudu and Ouname Mhotsha.
The team left the country for Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday.
Speaking in an interview with Standard Sport, BLGU president, Tiny Kgatlwane expressed hope that the team will put up a much improved performance in this year’s championships.
The BLGU says while Botswana has been participating in the championships since 2000, the country has not made any significant gains.
“We have always been in the middle of the pack, rotating just between positions in the middle of the final standings of the tournament,” the BLGU president said.
She says this has been largely due to the fact that Botswana had not invested much on the development of the girl child in golf, something which she believes has set the country back.
She, however, says for this year’s team, they have chosen a blend of experience and youth, with the young and very talented Mhotsha being the youngest member of the team at only 15 years of age.
“Countries like South Africa, Egypt and Zimbabwe, just to mention a few, have always sent youngsters to these tournaments to give them exposure and have subsequently done well,” Kgatlwane told Standard Sport. Kgatlwane further said that while in Nigeria, the team is expected to play in the open championships.
For her part, Team manager, Sandra Hughes said they are expecting positive results from the championships.
“All the ladies are playing their best golf at the moment and everything is possible,” Hughes told Standard Sport in an interview.
She says she expects the team to hold its first training in Nigeria today (Sunday) before the championships begin on Monday. Hughes further said all the ladies have experience, citing that even Mhotsha has had experience as she was involved in the triangular series earlier this year.
Meanwhile, BLGU is bidding to host the 2012 edition of the All Africa Team Championships.
According to Kgatlwane, the Botswana team at the Africa championships will be expected to make the bid on behalf of BLGU. Kgatlwane says hosting the championships will go a long way in boosting the development of golf in the country.
“It will go a long way in showing that golf can be played by all, irrespective of gender, age or even social status,” Kgatlwane said, adding that save for the development of golf, hosting the games will expose the country’s tourism industry.