In what appears like luck just after return of sport activities in the country after suspension due to Covid-19 pandemic, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) and international umpire Boikhutso Tuelo has been invited to officiate at two tournaments in Namibia.
The two tournaments are Pent Series scheduled for the 1st to the 5th of November and the Africa Netball Cup scheduled for the 9th to the 16th of this same month. Both Championships are in Windhoek, Namibia.
The Molepolole native who works at Masilo JSS as a craftsman, is an international umpire who holds the International Talented Identified (ITID) title. He got the title in 2018 in Zambia during World Cup Qualifiers for Africa. He also happens to be a Tutor Tester for Africa C Umpires.
Tuelo said “I have been called to officiate at Pent series and Africa Cup because of my qualification of been an ITID as well as my previous dedication to my work. He said “I am very happy to be appointed by International Netball Federation, which is our mother body and the biggest office in our sporting code.”
“For me to be given a chance to officiate at these tournaments is a big achievement, and it will pay off to my interest of being recognized and appointed as an International Umpire Appointment (IUA),” noted Tuelo.
Furthermore, Tuelo opined that this will not be the first time he gets called to officiate at these tournaments as an umpire. He said “it will not be the first time I get called to umpire at the Pent series and Africa Cup, I started to officiate at the Pent Series in 2017, and Africa Cup in 2019, in 2017 I was just an Africa umpire.”
Tuelo further added that what is life without challenges. He said “there are challenges everywhere, how you overcome them is the way to go. I had challenges to officiate there previously because most of the umpires who I officiated where at higher levels than me, but I told my self that I will work hard and made an objective to be ranked amongst the top Umpires, which is where I am currently.”
“I am the only Motswana who is invited to officiate at the Pent series and Africa Cup, I feel happy and overwhelmed, because this shows an improvement and elevation in my umpiring career which I live for,” added Tuelo. He further added that he believes the reason for his selection may be due to INF realizing how much work he puts in umpiring, as well as his passion and discipline in his work.
Furthermore, Tuelo opined that his wish and plan is that at the World Cup 2023 which will be held in South Africa, he should be one of the officials there, adding that it will be his biggest breakthrough.
When asked on what advice he can give fellow umpires and aspiring ones, Tuelo had this to say “umpiring is all about determination, commitment, patience as well as getting advices from all those who have been in the game before you. Learn from your mistakes during games, and use that as your stepping stone, we all make mistakes hence practice makes perfect.” Netball Namibia cater for all his expenses, that is accommodation, meals as well as travel expenses.