Botswana National Sport Council (BNSC) is returning all stadiums under and its care and management back to Government as it is failing to maintain the facilities.
Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) President, Boineelo Hardy revealed on Wednesday at the University of Botswana (UB) when participating in a panel discussion to discuss the proposed ten new Community Mini Stadia that Government plans to construct in 10 villages around the country to promote community recreation and sport development. This was said in the presence of BNSC Board Member, Tsoseletso Magang who was also a panelist interrogating the need for the extra 10 sport facilities. BBA is an affiliate of the BNSC.
Hardy was questioning the wisdom to construct extra stadiums when Government is already failing to maintain the existing facilities to a point where the Sport Commission has now resolved to relinquish management responsibilities for the stadiums. She argued that “until Government realizes and acknowledges that facility management is a profession on its own, management of sport facilities in the country will remain a challenge.”
She advised that Government should consider hiring professionals to manage the facilities so that they can remain in good condition and be self-sustaining financially. She observed that Government is spending a lot of money training top athletes like Nijel Amos in high performance facilities abroad to match and cater for the need and the level of professionalism that the athletes are at. She said Government should upgrade their existing facilities into high performance centres and put in charge people with the necessary skills to manage the facilities.
Tsoseletso Magang noted that the BNSC is having a challenge in managing the facilities because it is expensive, explaining that Government’s subvention has never been enough. She said because of the high cost of maintenance, the Commission had to start the financial year with a huge deficit. This is generally believed to be the reason why the Commission is overcharging its affiliates for utilizing the facilities, the price tag that many sporting codes including football have failed to pay resulting in underutilization of the facilities.
The BNSC Board member has however explained that while the high cost for using the facilities contributes to less utilisation of the stadiums, the problem is largely compounded by the poor quality and below par standards of these facilities. Former Chief Executive Officer at the BNSC, Kitso Kemoeng reiterated that the cost of maintaining the facilities is high and therefore users of the facilities will always be charged some fee no matter who runs the stadiums. “Government should always take care of the maintenance cost of the stadium no matter who manages them,” he said.
The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development however holds a different view. The Director of Sport in the ministry, Moreetsi Bogosi blames BNSC for the failure to properly manage sport facilities. Responding of the deliberations at the panel discussion, Bogosi said the Sport Commission have failed Botswana sport as they have failed to manage the facilities despite having made promises to turn around the stadiums into financially self-sustaining facilities through their Business Development Manager.
BNSC Affiliates at logger heads
Meanwhile, both BNSC and Botswana Basketball Association have acceded that there is bad blood between the Commission’s affiliates, a reality that negatively affect the growth of the sport fraternity in Botswana. The wrangling among sport federations was revealed by Media Personality and News Editor, Kealeboga Dihutso who noted that sport in Botswana has itself to blame for lack of development as they cannot sit at table and unreservedly agree on one firm case that would advance sport because of fighting amongst each other.
Dihutso said sport federations need to iron out their differences so that they can be able to successfully lobby and make their collective voice heard. This was supported by Kemoeng who also acknowledged the existence of sour relations amongst and within sport associations which he said hampers progress. Crudely putting it, he advised to BNSC and affiliates to deal with their “hatred” for each other and put sport first. He said that failure to meet common ground by sport administrators impacts negatively on building a strong case for sport development.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.
The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.
While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.
Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.
It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.
The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.
In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.
It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it. In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.
Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.
With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.
Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.
Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages. With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign. Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.
But there is no doubt that Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.
Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.
Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.
Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.
The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI. Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.