Rising local table tennis referee Ritah Sebele, 28, aims to earn the highest referee badges by 2024.
The young referee finds himself with the blue and gold referee badges to come full circle and is confident of becoming one of the highest ranked game officials in the country.
After failing to make an impact as a player in Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) tournaments, Sebele ended her playing career to try her hand at officiating. It turned out to be a masterstroke as the Mahalapye-born girl took her first refereeing course in 2012.
“The first class I took was called a national referee, and from there I refereed a series of local competitions,” she told Voice Sport.
“In 2013, I earned an international referee badge which gave me confidence in my power to become one of the best table tennis referees in the world,” added Sebele.
True to his steadfast ascendancy, Sebele went on to referee his first international tournament at the 2014 African Youth Games hosted by Botswana.
The ambitious referee was recently back in action at the 2021 Senior Africa Championships which took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
“I also attended advanced referee training and advanced rules exams, however, I did not do well on the exams. However, I still have the conviction to do better in the next exams, ”she said, adding that she was confident to acquire the last two badges in the next three years.