The Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) presented their new coach Sensei Keisuke Itsubo whom they have received through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC).



The General Secretary of the Botswana Judo Federation, Dorothy Tlagae stated during an interview that all along they had local coaches who were working with the team but they needed someone more experienced at black belt level because their current coaches are not at their level. “We want him to build the experience of the local coaches so that they can coach at international level,” exclaimed Tlagae.

“In partnership with JICA we requested them to send us a volunteer who will be an experienced black belt coach who can come and train our coaches and also our teams”.

Furthermore, Tlagae noted that she believes Sensei Itsubo is impressed with their level given that they are a small code. “He is happy with the dedication he is seeing in our young people who he is currently training,” added Tlagae.

Though the Sensei was presented last week, he started coaching the Judo team since August last year and he has even gone on a training camp with the lads in December which he noted that he was impressed with them.

Moreover Tlagae expressed that they wanted the Sensei to settle in first before they presented him to the BNSC. “He will be with us for the coming two years and we would like to see  him enabling our team to be able to compete on the continental, regional and international games and also groom in one or two of our players to be able to compete at the coming Olympics in 2016,” noted Tlagae.

Asked if the Sensei is doing anything to prepare for the African Youth Games (AYG) she said he is working with them at the moment in preparation for the games and he is excited looking forward to see what he has done with team so far.

Tlagae noted that at the moment she cannot point out any player that is showing potential because by doing that they will be hard headed thinking they have arrive. “In Judo you have to compete on the mat and prove yourself and be the winner out of the competition before someone can say this is the one,” she added.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is an organisation that has been operating in Botswana since 1992 and it contributes towards Botswana’s Human Resource Development through its Training Program (capacity building) and volunteerism spirit of Japanese Nationals through Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Program. To date about 300 JICA volunteers have been dispatched to many different government departments, statutory institutions, line agencies and NGOs in different parts of Botswana to undertake various technical assignments.


AYG team on Camp

Posted: December 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

During the December school holidays the team participating at the African Youth Games camped at the University of Botswana.  The aim of the camp is to help the young judokas with the preparations and technical skills for the upcoming games.  Sensei Itsubo, the National coach prepared a vigorous training programme for the judokas, which saw them training 3 times a day.  The African Youth Games is scheduled to take place in May 2014.

Whilst on camp, General Palenfo, African Judo Union President paid a visit to the National Cadet team, he was on an official visit to Botswana for the Africa Youth Games as General Palenfo is also the President of ANOCA.   The AJU President addressed the National Team and commented “it is nice to see so many young judokas on the judo mat, you have a bright future ahead of you, keep up the hard work” he also said that he was very happy with the development of the Botswana Judo Federation and the region.

African Judo Union President, Lassana Palenfo visiting team Botswana

African Judo Union President, Lassana Palenfo visiting team Botswana

New Strategic Plan 2013-2017

Posted: December 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


December 7th is the weekend Botswana Judo family gathered in Mahalapye to map out the path for the next four years. Our new strategic plan has been developed and we are super excited about the developments and projects that are to come. We have committed ourselves to making judo in Botswana one of the most dynamic sports in the Country. Judo for Me – Judo for All

Members of the BJF Directing Committee

Members of the BJF Directing Committee

Judo for Peace and Future Judo Centre in Lusaka, Zambia

The Botswana Judo Team left for Lusaka, Zambia to attend the Judo for Peace event presented by the IJF which also coincided with the first stone of the future national training centre was inaugurated.

Botswana 1

From November 29th to December 3rd, the IJF Judo for Peace commission organised a seminar in Lusaka, Zambia. Six countries from the Southern region of Africa participated: Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland. The first day of the seminar was dedicated to the presentation of the Judo for Peace philosophy and activities. The second day saw the organisation of a mixed team event for cadets, based on the same principle as during the Youth Olympic Games: the team were composed of girls and boys, coming from the different participating countries.  Ms. Estony Hattingh who is also President of the Southern African Judo Confederation addressed the members during a workshop and highlighted the importance of using judo as an educational tool to better the society and how judo can be used to help develop self confidence and respect.


Ms. Estony Hattingh, President Botswana Judo Federation and the Southern African Judo Confederation

Eight teams of six judo players were engaged in the tournament, which took place in front of a numerous and enthusiastic public of more than 1,000 spectators. The format of the competition was greatly appreciated by the delegates of the participating countries. Ms. Estony Hattingh, President of Botswana Judo and the Southern African Judo Confederation and Mr. Temba Hlasho, President of Judo South Africa, were particularly pleased: “This format of competition gives a good opportunity to our young athletes to meet other competitors. It creates a real atmosphere between themselves and reinforce our judo community. We might develop the concept in the upcoming years.”

Participants of the Judo for Peace Event

Participants of the Judo for Peace Event

Several important personalities were also present during the competition day. The government of the Republic of Zambia was represented by its Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, who declared: “It is with tremendous excitement and pride that I am greatly humbled to welcome you all to this important event. This magnificent Judo for Peace seminar and tournament is the stage which gives us the wonderful opportunity to come together and meet, for the athletes to compete in the best sense of friendship, solidarity and fair play, synonymous with the Olympic movement.”

2013-Zambia-0023 (Medium)

The Deputy Minister had a special word to Mr. Vizer: “May I take this opportunity to thank the IJF and SportAccord President, Mr. Marius Vizer, for his continued support to the sport of judo in Zambia, and I pray that now, with his role in the Japanese 2020 Olympics, judo will benefit even more.”  The government representative concluded his inaugural speech by saying: “I am reliably informed that Zambia Judo Association successfully launched the Judo for Children programme in 2010, a programme that already brought positive results to Zambia and Africa. My government is convinced that judo is an indispensable factor in the education of the 5 to 12 year-old age group. Sport gives children an opportunity to build their skills and to be forward looking in life. Sports help children to learn self-discipline and assertiveness. These are important life skills, which we need to promote through sport and at all costs.”

Landmark Ceremony for the Construction of the Judo National Centre

The Judo for Peace seminar gave the occasion for a very well orchestrated ground breaking ceremony that launched the construction of the future Judo National Training Centre. The building will be located in the heart of the Olympic Youth Development Centre, which is under the responsibility of the National Olympic Committee. In cooperation with the local authorities and financed by the IJF, the construction of this centre will benefit to the Zambian Judo and Sports community as well as to the whole region. Mr. Foloko said: “Today marks the beginning of the construction of the judo centre, a landmark judo facility for development athletes, officials and for hosting competitions. I am pleased that the design of the centre will not only meets the requirements of this unique sport, but is also conceived with sustainability in mind. Apart from the building hardware, we also attach great importance to the development of programmes.”

Botswana Judoka Edwin Sello part of the Ground Breaking Ceremony

Botswana Judoka Edwin Sello part of the Ground Breaking Ceremony

The IJF was represented by its Media and Communication Director and member of the Development commission, Mr. Nicolas Messner, who emphasised the necessity of using the judo centre as a great development tool: “Today is a great day for judo in Zambia and judo in the region. When this facility will be operational, competitors, referees, children, officials will meet here to strengthen their skills and to strengthen judo.”

IJF Media and Development Director, Mr. Nicholas Messner

IJF Media and Development Director, Mr. Nicholas Messner


New Judo Gi regulations

Please be advised that starting from 01 January 2014, during the IJF competitions, the athletes shall wear judogi with sleeves which cover up the full arm including wrist in the control position (open arms). For the control of the crossing points: judogi must be crossed in a regular way, left shirt tail above right shirt tail, the belt must be tied in the regular way above the hips. The distance between the sternum top and the lapels crossing point of the jacket in the vertical direction must be less than 10cm.

The distance, between 2 lapels of the jacket, horizontally, needs to be of a minimum of 20 cm.

Besides, for your information, from 01 April 2015, a new Judogi regulations will be enforced.

The modification concerns the fabric material property, point 2a(4): The fabric weight (after new and unused jacket is washed and dried) must be between 700g/㎡ and 750g/㎡,and regarding the width of collar point 2c(1) Width of collar must be 4 cm maximum. Collar must be sewn with 4-rows. Collar must be easily folded vertically.

Aside  —  Posted: December 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Development Competition Successful

Posted: September 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

A convincing number of judo clubs from primary and secondary schools within Gaborone and surrounding areas on Saturday converged at the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) for a one-day development tournament.

The tournament, which paired learners of same age, was hailed a success particularly that both the young and promising sportspersons showed maturity and continuous growth in the way they displayed their skills, particularly wrestling the opponent and pinning them down.

Though some athletes looked younger, their encounter was a marvel to watch when they floored their much beefy age mates who looked incredibly menacing and occupied centre stage at the contest, which is held quarterly, thanks to Japanese Embassy which donated training gear and mats to the tune of over P1.5 million.

Dubbed Botswana Judo 2 School Programme, which is comprehensively and systematically run by local coaches in collaboration with young Japanese coaches, the programme was aimed at unearthing young talent and extending the game to government schools.

According to Judo marketing director, Patricia Nthibo, the tournament which was the second after the first at Phillip Moshotle early this year, went well according to their judgment more so that at least 102 participants took part in it.  Six clubs of SSKB, Phillip Moshotle, GSS, Lesedi, and Botsalano took part and participants were aged between nine and 17 years.

Clubs, which also enjoy full support of parents, are steadily gaining growth according to Nthibo, who did not want to hide her excitement over the quality of the tournament which took the better part of the day.

A total of 63 three medals in gold, silver and bronze were shared among the participating clubs. The next tournament, anticipated to be even better than the previous two, is scheduled for November at Botsalano in Tlokweng.

Author : Benjamin Shapi

Source : BOPA

Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  The Botswana Judo Federation sent a team of 35 Judokas to participate in the South African International Open Championships in Port Elizabeth over the period 1-6 July 2013 and brought home 11 medals. Countries represented at these championships were, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe a total of 993 judokas participated at this prestigious championships which take place annually.
The 35 athletes from both junior and senior categories were selected after the National Championships at the end of April by the BJF selection committee headed by Major Lowani. The medal winners are products of the Judo 2 Schools programme that was introduced into the Federation at the beginning of 2009 and we can see by the results that this programme is a great success. The team was headed by Ms. Patricia Nthibo, who is also involved in judo as a result of the programme.
As a Federation we are very proud of each and every judoka that participated in this International Competition.

Botswana Judo Medal winners at the South African International Open Championships

Botswana Judo Medal winners at the South African International Open Championships


The results are as follows
Gold Medals:

  • Bakang Baitshenyetsi u/34kg Male
  • Monyana Otukile u/50kg Male
  • Neo Kapeko u/52kg Female

Silver Medals:

  • Tumiso Phuthego u/34kg Male
  • Thato Lebang u/66kg Male

• Bronze Medals:

  • Oratile Makgake u/27kg Female
  • Joseph Pelotsame u/27kg Male
  • Aabakwe Rahube u/32kg Female
  • Trish Baraeli Kgosi u/30kg Male
  • Bontle Ngazimbi u/44kg Female
  • Mbako Kgwengwenyane u/60kg Male

The team management was as follows:

  • Patricia Nthibo – General Team Manager
  • Dimpho Chakela – Boys Team Manager
  • Ms Phuthego – Girls Team Manager
  • Kingsley Segokotlo – Team Coach
  • Kgosipula Kuapa – Team Coach
  • Jobe Kaunde – Medical
Botswana Judo Team to Port Elizabeth

Botswana Judo Team to Port Elizabeth

The federation’s main focus is on grassroots development, where these talented judokas are identified. The school programme is of utmost importance at the moment, as they want to produce well-developed athletes from a young age. As a Federation we would not be as far as we are if it were not for team work from Management, Coaches, Schools and Parents. The parents’ involvement in the schools program is of the utmost importance as without them, they would have not progressed this far. They are very supportive, always making time to watch the kids compete and making sure that they attend practice.
We would also like to sincerely thank our sponsors for this event, Botswana Savings Bank and the Botswana National Sports Council.