Chico keeps Orapa guessing
The future of Daniel ‘Chico’ Nare at Orapa United is still a subject of major speculation following information that links him with premier league rookies, Security Systems. Highly placed sources at both clubs indicate a high possibility that the former Extension Gunners and Miscellaneous mentor might leave Orapa United at the end of the season.
He is currently the assistant to former Centre Chiefs head coach Bongani Mafu, and is eyeing the coveted Mascom Top 8 trophy before heading down south, informants claim. Reports further suggest that Systems’ eagerness to prize away Nare at the end of the season would not be deflected even if the club got relegated to the lower tier. As things stand, The Alarm Boys as they are known are lying dangerously on spot number 13, just a point shy from the relegation zone. Other sources claim that Chico is wary of the situation and should Systems relegate, he might stay put.
Despite the club’s secret courting of the Coach, whom pundits posit should not be an assistant considering his football stature, there remains the possibility that George Mogopodi could ultimately compete for the post after being appointed as head coach for this season’s remainder.
Orapa United on one hand is unmoved by the ‘elsewhere reports’ and are confident that Nare will deliver as promised. “We do not want to concern ourselves with such speculation, the Coach (Nare) is focused on winning the Top 8 tournament, it is his primary objective,” club media liaison Kabo William said.
But the possibility that Security Systems may not mount a serious challenge for this year’s Top 8 tournament as well as relegate have been mooted as a potential obstacle to Nare's opting to move. While that would have serious and or little implications for the club's attempts to balance the books where finances is sometimes an issue, sources close to the negotiations have suggested Chico would actually not be discouraged from joining the side should the team fail to move up the league log again. Indeed, he could consider it an even greater challenge as the man at the helm.
Nevertheless, there are other obstacles still lurking, particularly his dependability. This needs to be cleared if his desire to return down south persists. He is a nomadic coach and had not even stayed for a season at Miscellaneous S.C before proceeding to accept a role of assistant coach at Orapa. Principal among these concerns is the amount of power he would be permitted to wield at The Alarm Boys.
But if Nare is to accept Systems’ offer, he would have to accept the existing structure in place at the club, particularly that little has changed with these Society outfits. It remains to be seen whether the coach will accept the Systems hierarchy, despite the acceptance that further significant squad strengthening will take place in the next transfer window.
While Systems will only publicly address the coach situation once the season ends, discussions have been taking place for some time behind the scenes and the club has sounded out potential replacements for Thaloba Nthaga who is the second coach to be sacked by the club. The former BMC FC, Letlapeng, Extension Gunners and Miscellaneous mentor is understood to be top of their list. When reached for comment, Nare distanced himself from reports linking him to Systems. “I do not know anything, I am currently enjoying my stay with Orapa,” he said.
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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.”
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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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