African Championships

Cap tip, Blair Setford

Softball coaches decry poor competition

After returning from the Zone VI championships held in Lesotho, the coaches of the victorious softball teams have decried the poor competition at the annual tournament. The event attracted only four countries, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.

Namibia failed to field a team in the women’s competition. Botswana has dominated the tournament over the years, but coaches believe the players are not benefiting from the competition. Coach of the men team, Bobby Khupe said they are concerned about the low number of countries that participate in the competition.

The men’s team finished top after winning all its six games while their female counterparts were victorious in all their four assignments.
Khupe said that besides South Africa, they are not learning anything new from other countries.

Only Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa and a few countries have consistently participated in the competition. Some countries have failed to send teams citing financial constraints.

Khupe said poor competition at the Zone VI Championships has seen the Botswana teams faring badly in international tournaments.
He said winning the Zone VI competitions makes Botswana teams complacent. He said they plan to invite teams from outside Africa for friendly games. Khupe attributed their good run at the Zone VI to solid defence and good batting. He said their concentration has improved over the years.

The women team’s coach, Titeo Mangope concurs that competing in the Zone VI competitions is no longer beneficial. He said the tournament has been stagnant for sometime and Botswana needs to compete in challenging events.

“This time, we took a team of young players but we still beat our competitors who brought experienced players. This means the competition is stagnant,” Mangope said. He said countries like Zimbabwe, which have shown promise in the past, failed to send a team.

One positive that he draws from the competition is that his side was able to beat South Africa, a side which is better resourced.

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