BY DUNCAN KGANGKENNA
Local swimmers hope to make the country proud by winning medals in the regional African Swimming Association Zone VI hosted by the City of Windhoek, Namibia.
Prior to their departure, Team Botswana manager Kgaotsang Matthews was optimistic the team will perform to the best of their ability.
“The regional competition is important to the local swimmers in that it will give the youngsters exposure. Once they have exposure of international events they will use the experience in future events” observed Matthews. She also said they expect few of their swimmers to set new records and achieve personal bests.
Matthews further said in the last event team Botswana finished on position 5 of the 14 countries that participated in the previous event.
The regional competition will also serve as a qualifying competition to the world championships. Team Botswana’s coach, Craig Rouse, said the team was chosen from the local qualifiers competitions. “The best performers were chosen in different age groups who attained the qualifying set standards” revealed Rouse.
Girls captain Tselane Matthews, said they are determined to perform to the best of their ability. “Every member of the team is eager to do win and we promise to make everyone happy” girls captain Matthews promised.
Botswana swimming team received a boost from Stanbic Bank ahead of the competitions. The bank donated swimming kit valued at P25 000 to the Botswana Swimming Sports Association (BSSA).
Stanbic bank Head of Corporate and Investment Bank, Sheperd Aisam said the bank donation is aligned with the support of the sports industry.
“We recognize the role that sport plays in bringing people together. Supporting swimming is a way of encouraging more youth to look to sports as a possible career path which inadvertently will help in curbing youth unemployment” explained Aisam.
The four day swimming competition starts on the 19th of February and is expected to finish on the 22nd. The team comprises of twenty four (24) swimmers. The boys are led by Jame Freeman as captain while girls are captained by Tselane Matthews.