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Youth tourney gets thumbs up

11 Sep 2023

Bonnita Youth Tournament organisers, which was held in Gaborone from Thursday to Sunday, have indicated that they are happy with the overall turnout of the tournament despite initial challenges.

In an interview, Botswana Football Association head of marketing, Tshepo Sedimo indicated that they had wished that the tournament be played during school vacations to cater for Form Threes and Fives, most of whom were currently busy preparing for their examinations.

“We got delayed because for the first time we wanted to include girls teams, so the procurement process for their playing kit pushed us to play when schools were on, which is not too ideal,” he explained.

He said despite that, they managed to negotiate with schools to release some of the students. He, however, assured that next year the tournament will be played during school vacations to enable all potential players to attend.

 Sedimo said the other challenge they faced was that some regions, such as the western block did not have any youth teams, which led to them scrambling to assemble teams just for the tournament.

“If you look at the results, the teams that did well are those that already had existing youth teams. Others which scrambled to raise a team at the last minute did not perform too well, and we even had issues of players’ fitness, which affected the standard of play,” he said.

Despite all that, Sedimo said the fact that this year they had girls teams was one of the main achievements.

To have continuity, which many football fans have been crying at the lack of, Sedimo indicated that as the BFA, they would have to look for funds to ensure that the youth league was up and running, which he said would help keep the players busy.

“This will also help our database because we would know at all times which players are active and their performance such that when we need them for national duties, it will be easier. Overall, we are happy with the way the tournament went,” he said.

Sedimo also said they were in negotiations with Bonnita for the possible extension of the sponsorship as the current one expires this year.

The teams were divided into four blocks and during the tournament in the U15 category, the Northern Bock and the Southern Block managed to win gold for girls and boys respectively, while in the U17 category, the Southern Block and the Eastern Bock grabbed gold for boys and girls respectively. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : Gaborone

Event : Interview

Date : 11 Sep 2023