Written by: Cliff Miyaji and Jordan Krauchek, Canadian SportWORKS Officers
Greetings from Gaborone! We’re just over halfway through our time in Botswana. Time feels like it is passing by very quickly. We can still remember landing in Gaborone as if it were last week. We’ve had some fantastic experiences and memories during our short time here. Our Boxing LTAD framework is progressing and on track as planned. We have also had the chance to explore Botswana and Zimbabwe’s unique and beautiful scenery.
Jordan and I’s goals for September were to conduct interviews, interpret findings, and complete the research required for Botsawan’s Boxing LTAD framework. We feel confident that we are on track and are moving smoothly as planned. Looking back, Jordan and I experienced imposter syndrome for the first couple of weeks. The assignments felt daunting to us as it felt as if we were thrown into the deep end. We had deliverables and expectations that we were not sure we could deliver. However, we “faked it till we made it” and gained confidence and experience. Now we feel like we are thriving and can produce the deliverables that meet the standards of the BNOC.
Our focus for this month is to complete the LTAD framework and start our implementation plan. To do so, we need continued cooperation and communication with BoBA (Botswana Boxing Association) members. This is critical to identify gaps in their current structure and to create SMART goals for success in future competitions. For November, we hope to finalize all of our deliverables and present them to the BNOC CEO, BoBA executives, and other relevant stakeholders. We are not looking forward to this endeavor, as public speaking is not our forte. However, the “fake it till you make it” mindset should carry us through.
One of our favorite highlights was when we took a trip to Kasane and Zimbabwe for the Botswana Day long weekend. In Kasane, we experienced a game drive through Chobe National Park and a sunset cruise on the Chobe river. We saw animals that we have only seen in National Geographic or zoos. We saw four of the Big Five (leopard, hippo, African Buffalo, elephant). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the lion, but we saw its tracks. We also attempted to catch the elusive tiger fish for 6 hours on the Chobe river. Sadly we got skunked, burned, and suffered heat stroke.
The following day we took a day trip to Zimbabwe to experience Victoria Falls; one of the world’s seven natural wonders. It was stunning. It looked like Niagara Falls ate 3 Niagara Falls.
Another of our favorite moments was when we stumbled across an Indian Parade in Gaborone. We later figured out that it was for “Ratha Yatra.” We were surprised to see such a large population of Indian people in Botswana. The people were very welcoming and invited us to their temple, where Jordan had Indian cuisine for the first time.
All in all, it’s been an engaging, experiential, and exciting trip of a lifetime.
Cliff and Jordan