It feels like yesterday I was first arriving in Botswana to start my journey interning for the Botswana National Olympic Committee. It is sad to say that in less than two weeks, I will be leaving my friends, colleagues and the magnificent country of Botswana. Reflecting on my time here, I have been blessed with the opportunity to have this experience in my lifetime and am thankful for the QEScholars program.
The last month has been to continue working on the LTAD framework for the sport of tennis. We have been conducting some research on the current Canadian LTAD and their LTAD for the sport of tennis as well. We have been using this as a guideline to help us strengthen the BTLAD by adapting it specifically to tennis. By doing this, we also have to take in the key points that the Botswana Tennis Association wants included in the framework. In these last couple of weeks, we will bring the finished framework to the Botswana Tennis Association for them to review it. From here, they will now have a guideline to help grow and strengthen tennis athletes into Olympic podium contenders in upcoming years. Aside from the framework, Ashley and I had the opportunity to visit two schools during the end of their school year. The purpose of visiting the schools was to advocate the Olympic values; those being excellence, friendship and respect. It was amazing to see how sport can not only be a physical activity but can also be an educational experience by reflecting that the Olympics and their sport support and strive for these values. One last job duty we have been doing is making calls to members of the BNOC to ensure confirmations for upcoming events, one being their annual general assembly that they host.
This month has been a very adventurous one for Ashley and me as we had two major trips booked. The first trip was to go visit Swaziland with some friends that we made through frisbee.
This was an amazing experience as we ended up hiking Sibebe Mountain, which took about 4 hours total after a view breaks. In the end, it was worth the long hike as the views were magnificent. From here, we also had the chance to go into one of the villages as we knew a friend of a friend who resides there. We ended up staying overnight there and learning a lot about their lives and what they did on day to day basis growing up. We had a braai the first night we got there and shortly went to bed after since it was late. The next day we got the chance to hike a local hill that they used to hike when they were younger every day. After spending the full day, it was our time to head back home and eventually make our way back to Botswana. Our second trip was to head down to Cape town in South Africa. We met with Kaitlyn in Johannesburg, where we connected a flight to Cape Town. Our first excursion there was a 3:30 am wake up call to drive 2 hours to Gansbaai… but for good reason! We went shark cage diving and saw many bronze whaler sharks. We also had the chance to visit Table Mountain. I was amazed on how high up we were in the sky… level to some of the clouds! Overall, this view looked over Cape Town and we spent much time there admiring these views.
This next couple weeks will be spent wrapping up our framework and getting things organized for the next SportWORKS officers to come to Botswana. We also have one more trip planned this week. Ashley and I will be taking a bus up north to visit Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park to participate in a 3 day safari!
I am incredibly thankful to have spent the last few months here in Botswana. Not only did it give me valuable work experience internationally, but it also helped me grow as a person and have a new outlook on life. I look forward to coming home and telling my friends and family about all of my experiences and adventures.