National Championsips 2013

Posted: April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Federation held its National Championships on 27 April 2013, at Baobab Primary School.  From these championships National Teams will be selcted to represent Botswana at various levels.  What is nice to note is how the Judo to Schools development programme is taking shape as most of the children competing at the championships are products of this programme.

We commend the development coaches, Kingsley, Japhta, Kgosi-Pula for the great job that they are doing in the schools and hope that this programme with grow from strength to strength.


The raw talent and passion of the Botswana Judo Federation Judokas is amazing.

For the first time, the new rules implemented by the International Judo Federation were implemented, some of the big name in Botswana Judo felt the effects of the new rules, when they were disqualified.  As one of the world’s most widely practiced sports, with 200 member nations and 20 million people practicing judo worldwide, one of the true challenges of the new rules would be their implementation beyond the IJF circuit. The new rules’ trial period will continue until World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in September, whereafter they will be reviewed.

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Medal winners Botswana Judo National Championships

Please see the final results attached below.

BJF National Championships – 2013 – Baobab

On behalf of the Botswana Judo Federation we would like to congratulate Mitsushi Hirokawa Sensei, who has been appointed the national coach for Japan men’s team working under Head coach Kosei INOUE. He was part of the delegation from the Kodokan that visited Botswana in September last year.

Mitsushi Hirokawa Sensei, with the children participating in the Judo to Schools programme.

Mitsushi Hirokawa Sensei, with the children participating in the Judo to Schools programme.

BJF Calendar of Events 2013

Posted: March 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Please download the 2013 BJF Calendar here.

BJF Calendar 2013 18.03.13

It is confirmed, the General Secretary of the IJF, Mr. Jean-Luc ROUGE, submitted the nomination of Mr. Marius L. Vizer, the IJF President, for the position of SportAccord President at the next elections to be held in St-Petersburg in May.In compliance with Article 31 of the SportAccord Statutes, Mr. VIZER has been sitting on the Executive Committee of the IJF since 2007 as the President of the organization, and also already served a full term on the IJF Executive Committee from 2000-2007 as Vice-President.

Having dedicated his lifetime to Sport, a career built in the spirit of Judo and in the light of its principles, Mr. Marius Vizer, who was a judo athlete, then an educator and a coach, before becoming the president of the Romanian National Judo Federation and then the European Judo Union President and then the IJF President, will propose a new vision and strategy for the SportAccord organization: “My objective is to transform SportAccord into an efficient and lucrative organization, that preserves the interest of International Federations, Continental Unions and National Federations in all sports, working in convergence with and supporting the Olympic Movement”, declared Mr. Vizer.
Knowing that “The entire society is moving towards globalization”, the IJF President is proposing that the path of SportAccord should follow this trend: “we should give more visibility to all the sports, under a unified global marketing and media strategy. At the same time it would generate important financial resources for the benefit of the International and National Federations.”
Other important ideas to promote sports development throughout the world will be proposed by Mr. Vizer to the delegates of the SportAccord convention in May: “An important support system that SportAccord can provide to its members is access to a knowledge base, containing standardized practices for an efficient management of the IF activity in all fields such as their member-management, event organization, marketing, media, sponsorship, communication. Additionally, it is important to create a Sport for All program, in support of the development of all SportAccord members, that would give the opportunity of enjoying all the sports, to youth and people around the world, regardless of their social or economic background.”
Among the achievements of international judo, under the leadership of Mr. Vizer, are:
• Creation of the World Judo Tour starting in 2009 (a series of annual competitions consisting today of 10 Grand Prix, 4 Grand Slams and at the end of each season the World Masters),
• Organization of the World Championships every year
• Introduction of the Judo World Ranking List
• Implementation of a new brand and image of the International Judo and of the IJF
• Development and implementation of a new marketing strategy which increased the global visibility of Judo
• Establishment of relations with major international broadcasters to the extent that the 2011 World Championship was broadcasted to over 130 territories
• New strong sponsors to Judo which allowed many development projects to be undertaken and over US$ 2 million of donations per year to be granted
• Implemented prize money at IJF events, today more than 2 million USD per year.
• Development of a strong social dimension for judo by establishing Judo for Peace and Judo for Children programs
• Modernization of the judo rules
• Working towards evolving Judo into a mass sport
As a motto for his candidature, Mr. Vizer declared: “I want to support SportAccord to evolve into a world-renowned organization that will support the engine of the sport in a very clear and transparent way. Through new activities and programs, SportAccord must support all International Federations, Continental Unions and National Federations.”


Posted: March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

The National Championships will be taking place on 27 April 2013 at the Gaborone International School starting at 09:00.  Entries and weigh in will take place on the 26nd between 17:30-19:00. Entry fee P50.00 per weight group.

At a function held on the 12th March 2013, in Gaborone Botswana, the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, Lt. General Lassana Palenfo announced Botswana had won the rights to host the 2nd Youth African Games to take place in May 2014.


The President noted that “In 2014, for the second time, African Youth will reunite to celebrate sport and Olympic values right here in Botswana. Tonight, with great pleasure, I can congratulate Gaborone on its success.”  He also said “I wish to note the exemplary cooperation of your National Olympic Committee and your Minister in successfully bidding for these Games. Youth from 53 other African Countries will be present, in your home, to not only compete with each other, but to learn from each other. Lifetime friendships will be forged and unforgettable memories will be made.”


 The official hosting contract was signed by the ANOCA President, Lt. General Lassana Palenfo, Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, the Honorable Shaw Kgathi and the President of the Botswana National Olympic Committee, Sir Negroes Kgositsiele.

The Youth African Games will be the final qualification event before the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing China.



By Lance Wicks

In this post we shall be exploring the subject of when, why and how a child becomes a specialist in a single sport. We shall discuss some of the reasons it happens, how it happens and the implications that you as a parent need to consider.

Choosing one sport.

Almost every child involved in sport will at some stage (especially if they show themselves a talented player) will be asked or will choose to pursue one sport over others they may play. Sometimes it will be a natural choice made entirely by your child and the way they develop. Often however, it is imposed by circumstances or by pressure from outside influences like the coaches of the sports.

Why one sport? Why many sports?

Choosing to practise one sport is a sensible decision, there is an old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”. By focussing on a single sport, your child will spend more time developing the skills and athletic abilities required for that sport. So rather than being good at several sports, the idea is that your child will become excellent at one sport. Your child may also be great at one sport they play and below average at the others they play. So choosing the one sport they are good at makes sense again. Equally (or even more so) they may enjoy one sport more than the others and want to spend more time enjoying themselves at this sport.

The otherside of the coin is that by playing a variety of sports your child develops a broader range of physical skills and ability. If they run and swim and play a ball sport and do Judo (of course); then they develop a wider range of abilities than if they only ran.

Is specialisation bad?

Specialisation in a single sport is not inherently bad, there are some substantial positives to doing it. We all do it, there are not many of us that have multiple jobs or on the sporting side played multiple sports to high levels. So choosing one sport may well be the first step towards your child becoming and elite athlete.

The opposite view of this is that if your child focuses purely on sprinting from young age and stops swimming, doing gymnastics and of course Judo; then as an adult they may not be a strong swimmer or be able to play the odd game of tennis with friends.

Of course there is also the benefits of “cross-training” in children to consider if elirte sport is the objective. Doing Ballet will develop flexibility and strength that will help an older Judo player. Swimming and Running develop the aerobic system, which will help any sport. A Judo player who is an accomplished swimmer or runner will have an advantage when it comes to supplementary fitness training over the Judo athlete with poor swimming or running skills.

A gymnastic background will help a Judo athlete; equally a Judo background will help the swimmer, runner and gymnast.

When should my child choose one sport over another?

This is the hard part of this discussion and requires knowledge of two factors (at least). It also requires thought on what you want for your child and what they want to be/do.

The first factor to consider is the age at which athletes in a sport reach their peak. We have all seen the very young gymnasts at the Olympics and the much older footballers, rugby players and Judoka. Each sport has a different age range at which the athletes seem to peak. In Judo we can say that players peak at around 25 years of age (based on figures from 2009 World Cup events). If we use the now commonly figure of 10 years development to reach your peak, then the average Judo player needs to be specialising in Judo at around 15 years of age. We also need to consider the physical development of each child, for example if your child is a late physical developer, then specialisation in a single sport could be done later in life than the early physical developer. Equally, emotional maturity needs to be considered.

The second factor that affects when a child specialises in a single sport is the business of sport and the talent model employed by many sports.

By this we mean that most sports (at least in western countries like here in the U.K.) use the pyramid model for talent. This model works on the idea that if 1 in a hundred children doing a sport are going to become elite athletes then by increasing the participation base (base of the pyramid), then more elite players will rise to the top of the pyramid. So if a sport has 1000 kids doing the sport they might get 10 elite players where as if they have 10,000 kids doing the sport they believe they may get 100 elite players over time.

Also, Judo like many sports, relies on the large childrens participation to survive financially as well as competitively. Each childs membership fee helps pay for the elite programme and each child in the sport is another potential elite athlete.

Lastly, there is the competition between sports for talent. If your child is athletically gifted I want them in my Judo class, as does the swimming coach, the gymnastics coach and the tennis coach.

Gymnastics here in the UK is probably the best example of how the business of sport affects specialisation. Children can start in gymnastics from the age they can crawl. So by the time Judo clubs were ready to accept my children, they had already been doing Judo for a number of years. We as parents had invested many hours and money in gymnastics. Gymnastics was already part of my kids lives and they had friends in the club. This continues as they get older and moving to another sport becomes harder and harder.

Gymnastics trumps Judo, because by the time the British Judo Association starts to be interested in your child, your child has been courted or engaged by British Gymnastics for a number of years! When it comes to specialisation, the same thing happens; gymnastic clubs start trying to get kids doing more and more gymnastics well before Judo clubs, so by the time Judo wants your child to “take it a bit serious” they may well have already been lost to swimming, gymnastics, tennis or other sports.

This business model affects when clubs start asking parents to choose one sport over another. These pressures or norms for each sport may mean that your child is being asked to specialise not so much to match their development as an individual or even for performance in the sport but because it feeds the sport as a business. I do not intend to paint this as a negative picture; personally I think gymnastics here in the UK have the right idea. They have classes for all ages and abilities and the good clubs provide excellent facilities and coaching and develop your childs potential well; be that towards a Olympic medal or just being a physically capable adult.

So how do I decide when my child should choose a single sport?

I hope that the text above has given you an understanding of the reasons your child should specialise in a single sport and that it has also given you insight into the other factors that will affect when clubs start asking/expecting your child to do more.

My personal view is that the mid to late teenage years is about the right time for a child to start specialising in a single sport. Up to that stage the benefits of cross training are very valuable and on the whole specialism gives to little to make it worth doing. 12-18 years would be the age range where I would want to see a child start moving from multiple sports for fun to multiple sports with more of a developmental focus, then moving in the older end of that age range to choosing a sport to focus on and become an athlete of that sport.

I do see it as a 6 year process, which goes from multiple sports to a single sport. If you 10 year old is only doing one sport (or two) then perhaps you might involve them in more sport. Especially if the sports are not broad in scope. So for example if your child plays football and cricket (two ball sports played in teams), you might involve them in individual sports that do not involve balls. Your child may find they prefer individual sports. Even if in the long run they return to football (for example) the physical development and skills they learn from the other sports will make them a more rounded football athlete when they do eventually choose to be a footballer.

I hope this article has given you some food for thought as a parent (or coach or player), being narrowly focussed is the path to high performance in any area (including sport). The timing and the reasons for making the decision to focus on one sport need to be made with an understanding of the various factors involved; and as always with a view to what is best for your child in the long-term.

Please do comment on this article if you found it interesting or email Lance at

Lance Wicks.