2017 : Year in conclusion
BY KAGISO FOX PHATSIMO
Kalavango Volleyball Club (KVC) ladies surprised many when they won the 2017 BMW Capital Motors Volleyball Cup. They beat Kutlwano 3-2 at the final played at the Institute of Health Sciences Sports Hall in Molepolole in May to win gold. This was an impressive run for a team was previously accustomed to 3rd place in league and cup tournaments.
Botswana track runner Isaac Makwala was controversially denied the opportunity to compete in the 400m finals of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships held in England in August. This was after the norovirus outbreak at the tournament.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) amicably parted ways with the senior national team coach, Peter James Butler, following a consultative meeting with the association‘s authorities in June. Social media went abuzz calling for the axing of Butler following a string of poor results on his last 5 games in charge.
Vincent Crosbie was just a man following his dream 2 years ago when he set sights on conquering the unforgiving 2017 Dakar Rally, little did the young man from Serowe know that he wouldn't just finish the race, but be crowned African Champion. He may not have crossed the finish first but Crosbie jumped from his 96th place start to finish 36th in becoming the first Motswana to take on and complete the Rally but also the first African to cross the finish in 2017.
The Netball World Youth Cup was an event of many firsts as Botswana achieved their highest placing finish after they ended the tournament placed 10th out of 20. This wasn’t the only first recorded at the 9-day tournament. Beginning on the 7th – 16th of July, the tournament saw Botswana play host to 19 Nations from 5 regions.
The first historic moment came courtesy of Tsena Botswana’s live streaming initiative. This made the 2017 Youth Games the first since its inception 29 years ago to be available for live streaming. By the end of the tournament, the Netball World Youth Cup YouTube page had earned over 2 million views something International Netball Federation President, Molly Rhone, was impressed by.
Botswana’s Dinaletsana were the shining example of hard work and tenacity as the crowd rallied behind them throughout the 7 games they played. They won their first two matches with ease to the delight of the sold out UB Arena. Their opening match was against Malaysia. This marked the first time the sporting facility had been packed to the rafters. The 3,000 seats available in the building were filled with Batswana of all ages adorning the blue black and white in support of the girls. Dinaletsana did not disappoint winning that one 72-26.