JAPAN PARTNERS WITH BOTSWANA IN SOFTBALL DEVELOPMENT
Botswana Softball Association (BSA) will embark on a month-long technical exchange programme with volunteers from Chukyo University and Japan facilitated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
A representative of JICA, Ken Yamada said he is impressed with the cooperation between Japan and Botswana in terms of softball development.
He revealed the partnership started last year and will run until 2020.
Yamada voiced his hope that the progamme will bring about positive results and ultimately help Botswana qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 where Softball will be making its first appearance at the Games since Beijing 2008.
“The volunteers team will travel around Botswana to visit softball Schools of Excellence, Goodhope, Masunga Senior School and Maun for technical clinics. They will cover game tactics like batting, pitching techniques, speed and coaching.
“This time we have also roped in the experienced Mayumi Kobayashi for umpire and scoring clinics to share her knowledge and skills,” explained Yamada.
For his part, BSA President Thabo Thamane stressed the association were extremely proud of their relationship with JICA, which he noted ‘goes a long way’. He revealed the agency has previously donated grants to renovate the National Diamond (softball stadium) and Schools of Excellence in Masunga and Goodhope.
He said some of the funds bought softball equipment, a lasting legacy he maintained would touch the lives of many Batswana softball players.
“The government cannot fund all the affiliates to extent of satisfaction so BSA goes beyond to look for assistance from other structures. We are very grateful that JICA has helped us to achieve some of our aims. Last year Chukyo University volunteers came here on a month programme that covered our elite league and spent time at our schools of excellence. They played against South African and Botswana senior women teams which were preparing for the WBSC Championships in Japan,” stated Thamane.