Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Mixed gender sports: a first for Botswana

Men and women will now be able to play with each other in one team, but there is a twist. Players are only permitted to directly oppose members of their own sex.

Korfball, the only mixed team sport in the world, was recently launched in Botswana by the international korfball association (IKA) director and international coach, Daniel de Rudder.
De Rudder, who has experience as national coach for South Africa, Belgium, Taiwan, New Zealand and Poland, is to assign himself the task of teaching coaches and physical education teachers the sport.
The sport has currently been adopted on 5 continents and has 55 countries on board. Africa being the most recent member joins Australia, Asia, Europe and America.

“Korfball is a unique mixed sport where girls and boys can finally play together in one team although it would be against their own sex; its main objective is to shoot.”

Botswana is seemingly fertile ground for more new sports as we see sports taking a different but positive path in the last five years, what with cricket and hockey finding their way into Batswana’s hearts.

According to Rudder, a standard korfball team consists of eight players: four male and four female.
Korfball is a ball sport played mainly by hand where players elude personal opponents by passing the ball in quick movements in order to shoot the ball through the basket.

The korf (basket in English) is set in from the end of the playing area, a position enabling shot-outs from 360 degrees.

The sport involves two positions for players, attack and defense roles.
Unlike in basketball, players are forbidden from deliberate physical contact.

They are also not allowed to run and dribble with the ball.
A player is also not permitted to shoot when defended by a personal opponent meaning quick shots that are based on specific techniques are most effective.
“Korfball can be played outdoors on the grass, and many other surfaces such as hard court, and artificial grass, it’s also a pastime for adults, children, families and couples,” said Rudder.
The sport is also big in southern Africa as it is already an established and registered sport in South Africa, Malawi and in Zimbabwe.

Rudder stressed that “in South Africa they even play it at regional levels”.

Korfball holds world championships after every four years.
Rudder advised students and the physical education attendants at the meeting to slowly socialize the sport into the society starting with their friends and trying to establish clubs within different institutions.


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