There is internal wrangling at one of the country’s biggest table tennis clubs New Horizon. The table tennis club’s executive committee is reportedly pulling in different directions. The Botswana Table Tennis Affiliates (BTTA) saw their dirty laundry being aired this past weekend when New Horizon hosted an open tournament in Gaborone. The club’s founding secretary Marang Ramahobo is said to have pulled off the tournament on his own as his executive committee and the club chairman were no where to be seen.
“I had to wear too many hats to pull this tournament together, I needed assistance and couldn’t get it,” said Ramahobo who was not shy about venting his frustration.
“We have been aware that we are organising the tournament since the beginning of the year but assistance has been limited. Even the chairman could not aid me through the tournament. I called the club chairperson several times before the tournament started but he deliberately avoided my calls. The club chairman only came during the last day of the tournament to take pictures of the action.” According to Ramahobo, the tournament had 3 objectives, which included building capacity for local Table Tennis clubs and promoting the sport in the country. The tournament was also expected to raise funds for the host.
Moreover Ramahobo believes all the objectives were realized except raising money for one of the country’s oldest table tennis Club. “I thought we had it all covered but to my surprise, we could not raise money for the club as per our objectives, this comes as a major setback to the club having hosted a successful tournament.”Nevertheless the tournament managed to pull a decent number of players. “We had 135 participants in the tournament as compared to all the tournaments of last year which managed to gather 120 athletes. It is a success story if we can host this many athletes during a single tournament.”However Ramahobo said he experienced set backs with regards to registration fees as they had categorized the registration fee according to age brackets, which was supposed to attract young players.
The Under 15 Singles registered at P20, under 18 singles registered at P30 while the under 21paid P40 to participate in the tournament. The seniors registered at P50 and teams had to contribute P150 for their participation.
“We blundered somehow as most people who registered in large numbers were kids, and their registration fee was set at lower prices, the seniors were very few at the tournament, this is something which could have been avoided if there were people helping out.” Reached for comment on the matter, New Horizon Chairperson Botlhe Makgekgenene was rather cagey. Makgekgenene said he wasn’t aware of the challenges that might have surrounded the tournament. “I don’t know much about the tournament, I wasn’t available for numerous reasons.”Makgekgenene was quick to rubbish issues of him not answering his phone. “I never avoided his call or anything it’s just that I wasn’t around for the tournament. “However the Botswana Table Tennis Association Tournament Secretary Tshepho Modisane hailed the tournament and regarded it as one of the most attended tournaments to date. “We only know that the tournament was a great success, we had the impression that everyone had played a role at the club.”Modisane said they are waiting for the club to submit a report to them so they can be in a better understanding of how the tournament unfolded. “We try by all means to monitor our tournaments so we will wait for the report on the tournament and give full comment of the tournament.