By Andrew Badeau:
July has passed in record time. I cannot believe that I will be leaving Botswana in less than a month.
The Botswana Taekwondo Federation hosted their fourth and final coaching module and it was a tremendous success. All nine of our coaches graduated from the program. The next ten potential coaches are helping out at school programs across the country and eagerly awaiting their turn to enroll in the next coaching certification course. It is a very exciting time for Taekwondo in Botswana with participation rates increasing at a rapid pace.
I am very excited to announce the 2016 Inaugural Grassroots Interschools Taekwondo Championships which will be hosted in Gaborone on August 6th, 2016. The past few weeks have been very busy planning for this tournament and ensuring we can draw the greatest amount of students from all across the country. Overall, there will be roughly 150 participants in the tournament! It will be incredible to see the progress that these students have experienced through Taekwondo programming at their schools.
On the BNOC side of things, we hosted the 2016 Olympic Day Celebration (ODC) on July 23rd at the National Stadium. There was a great deal of planning that went into the execution of this event so it was very rewarding to see such a large turn out! Hundreds of people showed up to participate in the 10 km run and plethora of sports that the BNOC organized. My two favourite events were the “orange race” and “egg race”. These two traditional games are played all throughout Botswana and it was awesome to see everyone get involved.
Along with the Olympic Day Celebration, the BNOC also incorporated the Olympic Team Announcement into the July 23rd festivities. The crowd roared as each name was announced. With twelve athletes going to the games, the whole country will be waiting anxiously to see their athletes compete! This is the first time I have been outside Canada during the Olympics so I am excited to celebrate and cheer for the Canadian and Botswana teams with my friends here.
With only a couple weeks remaining I have been trying to squeeze in as much travel and fun activities as I can on weekends. I have put together a plan to travel north in the Okavango Delta for a safari once my work concludes here at the BNOC! I cannot wait to get up there and see all the amazing wildlife that Botswana has to offer.
Until next time,