Life’s a beach for volleyball duo

Kitso Ramono
GOING TO GHANA: Wright and Boima

Being stuck in a landlocked country has not proved a problem for Botswana’s Beach Volleyball hopes, with two teams qualifying for next month’s Africa Games in Ghana.

The men’s duo of Sekao Jack and George Chiwaniso will join their female counterparts, Ngirl Wright and Wabongwa Boima, flying the white, black and blue in Accra from 8 – 23 March.

The four booked their place at the continental competition’s 17th edition during last weekend’s regional qualifiers at Marabou Rocks Park in Gaborone.

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The eight-nation event attracted participation from across Southern Africa, with teams from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Eswatini, Angola, Lesotho and Mozambique all taking part.

The hosts entered four teams, two male and two female.

Both male sides topped their group, with Mosiwa Baleofi and Trevor Manduwa having the misfortune of drawing 2022 Beach Volleyball World Cup bronze medalists Angola in the quarter finals, where their journey ended.

Jack and Chiwaniso went one step further, coming undone against Angola in the semis to finish third, which was good enough to qualify.

The women enjoyed similar success, finishing first in their groups. The semis were an all BW affair, Wright and Boima proving too strong for their compatriots, Tsitsi Marape and Jestinah Moyo.

They fell short in the final, however, falling to a 2-0 defeat to Mozambique.

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Reflecting on a successful tournie, BVF Vice-President Administration, Ndibo Lebala was full of praise for the progress the sport has made in a short period.

“We started in 2015 training coaches, in order for them to recruit athletes, went on to train instructors and lastly trained referees in 2017. The sport started gaining momentum four years ago, and looking at how we are doing it shows growth; even powerhouses like Angola and Mozambique, which normally participate in big competitions like the World Cup, were impressed at how we have turned out,” said Lebala.

Despite having just over a month to prepare for the Games, and with precious little funding coming their way, Lebala is confident they will be ready.

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