Werda Athletics Club to launch
BY SUN REPORTER
In the remote Kgalagadi district, a beacon of hope has emerged for young, talented athletes. Tshepiso Kashiwa, a dedicated English teacher at Tapologo CJSS in Werda, has founded the Werda Athletics Club. This initiative comes from Kashiwa’s deep-seated passion for athletics and her desire to nurture the district’s untapped talent. “In 2022, we began the registration process, which was completed this year. Kgalagadi is teeming with talent that unfortunately often gets lost to the streets,” Kashiwa laments. She observes that due to the district’s remoteness and lack of recreational facilities, many young people succumb to detrimental activities such as drug and alcohol abuse or teenage pregnancies. Kashiwa believes that the talent in Kgalagadi often fades after students complete their junior and senior schooling due to a lack of follow-up and nurturing. She hopes to change this narrative with the Werda Athletics Club. The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has approved their membership, and the club has already begun participating in local competitions. Kashiwa recalls their humble beginnings, “We started with three kids, no sponsors, and no attire. We traveled across the country from Kgalagadi to Francistown to attend our first event.” The club’s mission is to take kids off the streets and provide them with a worthwhile life through sport. Already, the club is attracting members from Kgalagadi North. Rising stars like Thato Kelailwe and national championship qualifiers, Vincent Selogo and
Olerato Titus, are making their mark.
Despite not being a qualified coach, Kashiwa’s passion drives her. She actively seeks growth and learning opportunities from other clubs. The club’s first training camp was graced by Jwaneng Athletics Club and Ramotswa Athletics Club. Steem Thuto from Jwaneng Athletics Club has played a significant role in advising and encouraging Kashiwa. The Werda Athletics Club will officially launch on the 9th of December 2023 at the Community Library in Werda. Kashiwa emphasizes the need to raise awareness about the club and appeal for government assistance. Currently, they rely on the help from parents, most of whom are unemployed. The club already boasts athletes from Tsabong, Driehoek, and Makopong among other villages in the district.