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Papic tipped for Rollers challenge

Former Orlando Pirates head Coach Kostadin Papic is the latest likeliest candidate to replace Township Rollers mentor Nikola Kavazovic, should the Serbian decide to dump the Gaborone giants at the end of the season.

Township Rollers sources have told WeekendSport that Papic had been in constant communication with The Blues long before Kavazovic was brought in to take up the post. According to sources, Rollers is busy negotiating with the Serbian and are hoping to agree a reasonable offer with him.

There is indeed a strong possibility that Kavazovic will leave at the end of the season. While his impending move hinges on two grounds, the first obvious reason being that some South African super clubs are keen on bagging his signature. The last, but not so pleasing reason is his relationship with some of his technical staff. There is reported fall out between him and his assistant coach Teenage Mpote.  But whatever the case, Rollers are not motivated to pursue this last factor largely because Kavazovic’s work at the helm of Rollers really speaks for itself. “Really you cannot risk sacking a coach that gives you silverware,” a source shared.

On the other hand, Papic is also seen as a highly rated tactician who can also elevate Rollers to much greater heights. The team management, it is said, accords the Rollers coaching job the seriousness it deserves and the arrival of Kavazovic last season showed a measure of significance in traversing new territories. Sources point out that Rollers would want Papic to command a salary scale the same as that of Kavazovic but any other changes will be made if the need arises.

Phemperetlhe Pheto, the team’s media liason when quizzed about the speculation only said, “ Nikola Kavasovic is still our coach, that is as far as I can go.” While Rollers have maintained a rather professional approach, and not willing to disclose that they are shopping around for a possible replacement for Kavazovic, this publication has learnt that the Gaborone giants will publicly address the issue once the season comes to an end.

A key consideration for the Jagdish Shah driven project is of course possible public backlash should it finally come to an agreement with the former Ghanaian coach, who has also coached Kaizer Chiefs more especially that it is not clear if he will replicate what Kavazovic has achieved during his short spell with the club.

Meanwhile, it is said some within the Rollers management want the club to fight to keep the coach, despite the over pouring interest from other teams from outside the country. Some however believe that should the coach take up outside offers, the team would have not lost as they believe Papic can do the same and perhaps more for the club, him also being Serbian.    Pound for pound, they argue, Papic has a more African football experience than Kavazovic, and this works more in favour for Papic.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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