Ngamiland is well known for producing some of the best athletes, some of whom have represented the country in major international competitions bringing medals home.
It would however be an ommission to ignore the fact that some of these athletes come from the capable hands of Maun BDF Athletics Club coach Meleko Ndolo. The 43-year old Nata native has used his love and passion for athletics to develop some of these athletes that include the likes of Leungo Scotch, Bayapo Ndori, Thomphang Basele, Tshepiso Masalela, Anthony Pesela and Victor Ntweng to mention but a few.
Sharing his journey in athletics with Times Sport, Ndolo indicated that before he advanced to becoming a coach he was an athlete specialising in 100 and 200 metre races.
“My coaching career started in 2006 and I was mentored by Mogomotsi Otsetswe and Bobby Gaseitsiwe. I started coaching at grassroots level in school and I was first called for COSSASA games in 2016 at Swakopmund, Namibia,” he said.
Ndolo joined the Maun BDF Athletics Club in 2017 and that is where his journey of grooming and developing Ngamiland athletes actively began. Ndolo who is a Physical Education teacher by profession said his passion for athletics drove him to succeed in producing some of the best local athletes.
“My major highlights were when I coached Tumo Nkape who then qualified for the World Junior Championships, and then it was Boitshepiso Kelapile and Anthony Pesela who qualified for the Oregon22 World Athletics Championship. Pesela was my first athlete to break into the 44s bracket,” he indicated.
He added that one of his other memorable achievements was when his athletes Boitshepiso Kelapile and Anthony Pesela qualified for the 2020 World Junior Championship that were held in Kenya where the team brought home three gold medals and one silver medal.
Ndolo is of the view that Ngamiland is the powerhouse for athletics and his wish is to see the Maun BDF Athletics Club getting more support through sponsorships from different stakeholders. He noted that this would allow them to establish a club house that can accommodate athletes and have training facilities that can help them meet professional standards.
The coach has also observed that the standard of athletics in Botswana has improved which is indicative of a lot of talent in this country.
“Nonetheless, I am worried about the structures of sports in Botswana which do not recognise coaches,” he said.
Meanwhile Ndolo noted that throughout his career he learned that for someone to be a successful coach they have to be patient and have the will to learn. He has urged those who wish to be successful in their coaching career to keep on learning every day.