Oarabile Bogatsu of Botswana Taekwondo Federation had to battle racism when studying in Malaysia for him to become one of the finest Taekwondo athletes in Botswana. Being an aspiring black athlete based in a foreign country back in 2008 seemed more like a curse than a blessing to him.
Today he proudly lifts his 3rd Dan Black Belt and chases the Grandmaster title. He might just become the first grandmaster to ever come out of Botswana given his deep desire and ambition.
The 30 year- old Bogatsu fell in love with Taekwondo for the very first time when he was studying Software Engineering in Malaysia.
“I tried Karate but it was not exciting enough for me until one day when I walked out of class and saw Taekwondo athletes flying everywhere, I was instantly hooked,” Bogatsu said.Bogatsu fell straight into the blessed hands of Master Tony Lee.
Lee as Bogatsu describes him was such a pain; well at least in a caring and sweet manner. He pushed him to be what he never thought he would become, an athlete of repute. “He was not one for many words, his question was if I really wanted to be a champion, my response to that is what changed my life forever,” Bogatsu said.
A few months down the line Bogatsu won gold during his maiden Malaysian University Taekwondo Championships. It was a scary affair as he was fighting athletes from different countries. Since then he never backed down, with his lips strongly pressed together, he held firmly to the championship title for three consecutive years since 2008.
Dethroning the Malaysian national team champion, who was highly praised in his home country, was enough to send a strong signal that he also, was equally capable. However, it had to take another round of convincing results for him to be considered capable.
“I remember defeating one Asian athlete who failed to accept that he was defeated by a black person. He went all racist on me and it left me deeply hurt,” Bogatsu said.It did not only end there, at times, when he stepped into the elevator, they will all go out leaving him to use the elevator alone.
“They at one point got used to the idea of Africans because during my time, there were only a few of us there,” he said.Bogatsu returned to Botswana in 2012 and continued his journey with coach Gladys Njoroge.
He continued to dominate under her coaching style, winning against the likes of Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa. He now sits in the executive committee of Taekwondo Botswana as Secretary General.
The ambitious Bogatsu took a break from active fighting this year and will be returning to the ring in full swing next year. He has five more stages to reach before he finally becomes a grandmaster.
“No matter how long it takes I will attain that grandmaster title, that is my ultimate goal,” Bogatsu said. His greatest achievement will be sharing the ring with Korean athlete, Lee D
Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure
Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.
Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.
Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.
The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.
“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.
The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.
BFA FIRES BRIGHT
Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.
At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.
According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.
Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.
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