Massive clashes are expected this coming weekend when badminton players meet at the Botswana Open Championships. Botswana Badminton Association (BBA) will stage the national ranking tournament at the Lobatse Sports Complex on 28th and 29th April.
Players are expected to square up in singles, doubles and mixed doubles for the coveted prizes and trophies that will be on offer.
According to BBA mouthpiece Edson Ncube, they are committed to the sport, even to the extent that they as the association decided to host the tournament without sponsors. “We have committed ourselves to serve the sport of badminton well so everything is currently going well in putting the competition together,” he said. “We don’t have sponsors for the tournament but we are going on to stage it with funds from our coffers, especially for prize monies, but it is always difficult to use money from our coffers because we tend to spend more than we bargained for which normally leaves us crippled financially.”
Apart from being a national ranking tournament, the competition will also give the national team scouts an opportunity to select players who will make a solid ready national team. “The tournament helps in improving rankings of our players and giving them recognition but one main priority is national team selections. It will help our technical team to select a pool of team players for future because we want to a have a ready-made team at all times,” said Ncube.
Further, Ncube shared that, “since this is an open section we, are expecting a pool of international players from neighboring countries to participate in the tournament provided the invitation reaches them well in time. But locally we expecting home grown players in the likes of Botho Makubate, Leungo Tshweneetsile,Tumisang Olekantse and Tefo Kabomo just to mention a few, ”Ncube said.
“So I’m calling all badminton family and friends to come and join us at the tournament because we normally don’t charge our spectators for our events. Admission is free,” he concluded.
Olekantse and Tshweeneetsile are the defending champions in the men’s and ladies singles categories so it remains to be seen if the duo will be able to defend their titles against their much improved opponents.