Jurry Manaka wanted to be a soccer player. But in 1997, as a 15 year old student, he was forced to turn to softball. Most of the players on his scool’s team were away on an agriculture fair trip and Manaka came up as a replacement.
He performed his duty as a cathcer pretty well and became the regular player at the position from that day.
Manaka was converted into a shortstop during his Senior Secondary School days and has played at the position since.
At 35 years of age, Jurry Manaka is now regarded as one of the best softball players Botswana as ever produced.
He has won 5 times (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016) the Barloworld Softball Challenge, a tournament amongst the top 8 teams in the country. Manaka is the Captain for the Botswana Defence Force team.
Prior to the 2017 WBSC World Championship, he was named National Team Captain. He led Botswana to the fourth place in round robin play and to an eighth place finish overall.
Manaka regards the event, played in Whitehorse (Canada), as the most significant moment in his career.
“Softball has rewarded me” says Manaka “The game has taught me a lot. It has taught me how to interact with others, has enabled me to learn and embrace other cultures and has turned me into an individual who embraces perseverance”.
Jerry Manaka has been recently named to the Athletes Commission of the Botswana Olympic Committee. Now his biggest wish is to see Boswana Government introducing softball at the primary school level, in order for children to learn the basics of the sport at an earlier age.