Botswana will host the Africa Youth Championships next year, according to information reaching this publication. This comes after the International Table Tennis Federation-Africa (ITTF-Africa) approved Botswana Table Tennis Association’s (BTTA) application.
“We showed interest in hosting, and we were granted the rights by relevant bodies, despite other countries expressing interest,” said the spokesperson for BTTA, Tshegofatso Malepa.
Malepa said the bid was competitive and explained that Botswana will also host the Commonwealth Youth Championships, for players between the age of 15 and 19. The tournament will be held from the 15th to the 21st July 2024.
Malepa said BTTA is committed to developing table tennis at grassroots level.
“By focusing on nurturing young talent, BTTA aims to strengthen the national team, known as Diteemane, in the long run,” she affirmed.
“Our role is to develop table tennis from the roots, primarily targeting youth players. These games will be an opportunity to grow the sport and cultivate interest. Hosting these events ensures a lasting legacy for Botswana, with young players already gearing up through pre-camps and competitions in Namibia.”
Beyond the domestic impact, the tournament will be an opportunity for young table tennis players to gain exposure and compete against top talent from across Africa and the Commonwealth.
“It’s an exciting prospect for the development of table tennis in Botswana, showcasing the growing support for the sport within the country,” Malepa declared.
Malepa said ITTF will fund the tournament.
“Hosting comes with support from ITTF in terms of hosting funds and top-notch equipment. Currently, we are in talks with sponsors to secure additional support for this endeavor,” Malepa explained.
Meanwhile, Malepa told this publication that the newly elected BTTA executive committee paid a courtesy call to the India High Commission in Botswana.
“The committee aimed to introduce the new incumbent Committee and foster stronger bilateral relations with the India High Commission,” she said.
“By establishing this connection, it is hoped that there will be a positive impact on the development and promotion of table tennis in Botswana. Such interactions not only promote goodwill but also provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge, expertise, and resources between the two nations.”