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Rollers faces footballs Goliath in CAF

To some, Township Rollers’ only glimmer of hope in the often difficult championship League group stages appeared to fade when a draw was conducted on Wednesday evening. But Township Rollers players and technical team are upbeat and ready to go for the giant killing stunts.

Botswana teams in this stage were but monuments that collapsed on the eve of glory. But when the Jagdish Shah project was picked from the tossing bowl, it was evidently clear that the taste of the pudding is now in the eating. The Botswana team was the first to be picked out, but many were left scratching their heads when Egyptian giants Al Ahly, the team that has won this competition a record 8 times came crashing Rollers group at the eleventh hour. The Kavasovic drilled side is pitted against KCCA, Esperance of Tunisia together with Al Ahly in group A

Rollers and Kampala Capital City Authority FC (KCCA) are debutants but both Esperance and Tunisia pose a massive threat. Between them, they have 10 CAF titles. However, Rollers coach has made the club to stand even when standing was never an option. This is a coach who possesses the faith of David when he came face to face with Goliath.

“We had a group which I personally prefer and I’m happy with. We have to prepare very well and get the three points from our opening match against KCCA at home. Once we have the three points, there will be no pressure on us for the next game,” Rollers coach Nikola Kavasovic told CAF online. “We have to be satisfied with the draw,” he told Cafonline. “Looking at all four groups, Group B (TP Mazembe, MC Alger, Difaa El Jadidi and ES Setif) is the group of death,” he added before revealing he preferred group A.

Nikola Kavasovic has won a record 11 successive premier league matches and a top 8 cup for the first time of asking. In the last 20 seasons playing in the competition, the club has never stormed in to the group stages. In Simisane Mathumo and Mosha Gaolaolwe he has probably the best central defensive pairing of the modern day football, a duo who are complementary and have played together for years. The question, as ever with Rollers, is how hardened they are for the fight when they aslo play a catch up game on the domestic league, equal on points with Jwaneng Galaxy.

But the 3-1defeat at home against BDF XI a month ago, suggested the capacity to play a more balanced game than they have to week-to-week. That said, their approach against fellow debutants KCCA of Uganda should probably be tilted to attack. In 12 games on their domestic league KCCA have conceded five on three occasions. There is vulnerability, even if few of their games showed how dangerous they can be.

Al Ahly on the other side are wary of Rollers who remains a closed book to many African teams. The team’s Director of Football Sayed Abdel Hafiz told CAF ONLINE that his side will have pay much attention to KCCA and Township Rollers despite being debutants.
Sayed described the draw as balanced and looks forward to the game against Esperance as one that is always packed with excitement.

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Sport

Orange Botswana gift Tebogo with P150K

28th September 2023

Local sprinter, Letsile Tebogo has been rewarded with a whopping P150 000.00 by Orange Botswana for his heroics at the recently held World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Speaking at a Handover Ceremony for Tebogo, Orange Botswana Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maano Masisi said, Orange Botswana is steadfast in their commitment to nurturing the youth and promoting sports in diverse ways.

“Letsile stands as a formidable force and an inspiration to young Batswana, showcasing the value of sports not only in Botswana but on an international stage through his remarkable achievements. Orange Botswana, furthermore, desires to cultivate enduring relationships with aspiring young Batswana, much like Letsile, who embody dedication, focus, and excellence in their endeavors. Letsile has already shattered records, etching new milestones for the African continent and beyond,”

Masisi further said the partnership aligns seamlessly with Orange Botswana’s dedication to acknowledging exceptional individual talent like Tebogo.

“As previously announced when we started this relationship, our collaboration with yourself entails financial support from Orange Botswana to fuel your journey in competitive sports, alongside your representation as the face of Orange Botswana,” he said.

For his part, Tebogo pleaded with Orange Botswana to extend his contract as it is beneficial to him, “I am thankful to Orange Botswana and I hope they could extent my contract as it has been very helpful.”

Meanwhile, Tebogo’s coach, Kebonyemodisa ‘Dose’ Mosimanyana was also showered with P10 000.00 for always ensuring that Tebogo is ready to take on the world.

 

 

 

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Sport

Athletes confront Minister Rakgare

25th September 2023

Local athletes, Zibane Ngozi and Letsile Tebogo have confronted Minister of Youth, Gender and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare citing lack of support during preparations.

Speaking at the World Champs team Welcome Ceremony on Wednesday, the 4 x 400m relay specialist and Team Captain, Ngozi urged some of the government officials inclusive of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) representative, Rakgare to attend these high-profile competitions to witness the hardships they go through during these competitions.

“People need to understand it is not easy for us when we arrive at the World stage, there is a lot that is going on hence we need support in order for us to succeed as expected.

However, I am happy that immediately when I arrived in Botswana, BNSC credited our allowances which was a good thing because we had lots of debts (jokingly) thus we manage to settle them,” he said.

On the other hand, Tebogo who brought home two medals (silver and bronze) from 100m and 200m respectively at the World Champs said most athletes are going through depression due unfavorable conditions.

“Most of us going through depression because we lack support during preparations, we are only celebrated when we win but in hard times we are forgotten. Athletics is a difficult sport hence we need all the support we could to make it through and eventually amass medals as it is expected by our country,”

For his part, Rakgare admitted that local sport is faced with challenges, including but not limited to a tough sponsorship environment, limited or no sport in public schools, doping and leadership instability.

“I would of course be surprised if anyone of you would not agree with me that notwithstanding the challenges, we continue to achieve unprecedented results in sport, and the year to date is no exception,” he said.

Rakgare gave special recognition to Oratile Rose Nowe for heroics at the World Champs, “I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate Nowe for attaining a new personal best 2:01.62 in Women’s 800m, which also happens to be a national record. By the way, Oratile is the first Motswana woman to ever qualify for the World Championships in middle distance running.”

According to Rakgare, Government, recognizes athletes’ achievements at any and every competition, and that is why most recently, they have rewarded them at the Youth and Sport Awards.

“I would like to thank the Government of Botswana for their investment in sport. We continue to pride ourselves in being one of the best funders of sport per capita, and as indicated earlier, we are not intending to slow down anytime soon,”

On a lighter note, World Champs BW Team was rewarded by various companies such as Debswana, Choppies, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and also government as a token of appreciation for participating in Hungary.

Tebogo was rewarded with P560 000 from Debswana, Choppies and BPC for bringing two medals home, 4 x 400m men relay finalists (Ngozi, Baboloki Thebe, Laone Ditshetelo and Leungo were given P25 000 apiece for reaching the finals and participating by Debswana; while ladies (Tlhomphang Basele, Golekanye Chikani, Lydia Jele, Oratile Nowe, Galefele Moroko, Obakeng Kamberuka were given P10 000 each for participation.

In addition, the World Champs team amassed P926 000.00 of which P250 000 would go to Tebogo and the remaining P676 000 will be shared amongst the rest of the team.

 

 

 

 

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Sport

 BONA to host 2023 Africa Netball Cup

25th September 2023

With several local associations currently going through a rough patch in terms of financial quagmires, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mokeresete Mokeresete is optimistic to host the 2023 Africa Netball Cup as per the request from African Netball Board (Executive Committee) because Uganda has pulled out.

Will it be successful or finally quench the thirst of competing internationally?

The African Netball Championships or Africa Netball Cup are a netball competition held every after two years with teams from across Africa competing for the top price.

BONA National team competed in the last edition of the Africa Netball Cup which was held in 2021 in Namibia and they finished in position seven which was average.

Last time BONA hosted an event of this magnitude was the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup which was indeed a success even though the local team (Dinaletsana) finished in position 10.

One would have thought that the Dinaletsana team which looked promising would eventually go on and conquer the world in the following international competitions. However, that has not been the case as they struggled to qualify for the recent World Cup which was held in the neighboring South Africa.

In addition, the Botswana Netball League was last played in November 2022 and in 2023 they hosted a Fast Five Netball Cup just before the Netball World Cup.

In an interview with WeekendSport this week, BONA Public Relations Officer (PRO) said they have accepted to host the 2023 Africa Netball Cup following the pulling out of Uganda.

“We have recently accepted a request to the 2023 Africa Netball Cup, however – we are still working on finalizing all the logistics that will be in play as you are aware that hosting an event requires a budget which might be difficult because we were given a smaller potion in the recent financial year.

Furthermore, we are yet to come up with a consolidated budget which could help us map a way forward as we really want to stage this particular competition. It is vital for us to host this competition as we want to revitalize local netball, we want to attract more for the league,” said Mokeresete Mokeresete.

MORE NETBALL ACTION AHEAD?

Mokeresete further hinted that the upcoming Independence Cup will be preparatory tournament for the upcoming Africa Netball Cup.

“We are going to host the Independence Cup of which we are expected at least 16 ladies’ teams and a few of male’ teams as we are still swiftly introducing the male section to the sport in Orapa.

However, prior to the action we are going conduct courses for match officials, technical official and coaches’ beginners’ level 1 courses as an effort of improve the standards of the sporting code,” hinted Mokeresete.

MISSING THE RECENT NETBALL WORLD CUP WAS CATASTROPHIC

According to BONA PRO, missing the recent Netball World Cup was catastrophic as players missed out on an opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage which was bound to garner those deals to more professional countries in terms of Netball.

“We are seeing lots of movement for players from countries like Zimbabwe which is remarkable and that could have happened for our player – but it wasn’t to be as we did not qualify for the main event.

Moreover, through the World Cup Legacy Program, we have been awarded a sprung board and we are contention to transport it from South Africa to the country as one of the requirements to host a sporting event is to have a sprung floor,”

Meanwhile, the 2023 Africa Netball Cup is scheduled between November 26 – October 06 2023 at University of Botswana (UB) Indoor Sports Arena.

 

 

 

 

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