By Patience Lephogole
The Director of Culture, Sports and Recreation at the University of Botswana (UB), Raj Rathedi, has finally announced his pending retirement from active national sports participation. Speaking to The Telegraph this week, Rathedi expressed gratitude to the nation which gave him love, care and attention throughout his valuable years in sports.
“The curtains for me will come down on the 16th of December, at the end of the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games because I happen to be part of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC),” he said.
“I am humbled, I do realise how important it is to be given all kinds of support to stay on top for so long. The nation made me appreciate values of integrity, perseverance, hard work, honesty, botho, love, care and discipline,” he added.
Reflecting on his journey, Rathedi noted that it has not been a bed of roses as he turned lemons into lemonade. “It has not been a journey sweet as honey, but had impediments which at some time pulled me down. Nonetheless that did not pull me down instead as I took all those as stepping stones to greatness,” he added.
“When I look back at my career I do not have any regrets in my sporting career, though there was a time I dreamt of being the National Minister of Sports. I feel blessed for what I have been, because everything that happened or did not happen to me was directed by God,” he noted.
Rathedi further noted that Botswana has abundant talent which is at times nurtured from an early age until they are channelled to the senior team. “The future of our sport is bright, I am particularly happy because there are many more young people taking positions of responsibility in administration and coaching,” he said.
Asked if he will ever come out of the retirement, Rathedi responded by saying “Only if and when invited by the President or his Minister responsible for Sport.”
As for what he will do next, Rathedi said he wishes to spend more time with his family and church, adding that “I have developed a great passion for small stock farming at farm Taipei; much of my time will be directed towards it. I will not be lost to sports as i have started the Sports Taipei Academy Project which is to be launched in some time. Another project that my son would love me to pursue is to break one of the World Records in Masters Athletics, and this I will be chasing – just for him,” he concluded.