The consistent growth of Chess under the outgoing Tshenolo Maruatona’s leadership has made the code a beacon of good administration and envy to peers in the sports fraternity. From just mere silage, the code is now an appetising meal on the menu.
As the Federation assembles for their annual meeting which coincides with the committee elections, a record number of 21 candidates are vying for positions within the chess paradise. The Kanye meeting will be an interesting spectacle to watch as it is clear from the contestants that it is not about quantity but quality. The four men; Kenneth Boikhutshwane, Kefilwe Miti, Boikanyo Cinky and Mothokomedi Thabano who are at taking each other on to succeed the soft spoken Maruatona on the last Saturday of this month are talking about what the outgoing regime missed on in their four year term.
Boikhutshwane who was Secretary General in 2009/10 is promising the clubs a better code under his watch. “We were able to do a lot in two years so I’m optimistic that with four years now I would do even more,” he said. Top of his priorities include soliciting better sponsors that will possibly heighten the competition by dangling a bigger carrot in front of the. “Again we will organize tournaments which will feature top seven in and outside the border and will be ranked. Further I want to resuscitate the league and make it regional unlike nationally as it was,” the former player said.
The association is still in constitution delirium as to who should contest for the elections, a prospect which saw Keenese Katisenge kicked out of the presidential contest. Katisenge would have been the first BCF female president. If elected, Boikhutshwane promises that he will address the confusion. “It has many serious gaps that will have to be looked at from the legal perspective.”
His challengers have also revealed their game plan as to how they intend to improve the sport. Miti of Orapa Club says he also wants to increase sponsorships and have two tournaments monthly as part of accelerating the growth of the sport in the country to win medals at pinnacle events like the Chess Olympiads. “Further I will lay down the well documented national team selection because in the past there have been cases of favouritism so that is one area I would look at,” he revealed in a telephone interview.
Cinky who was there when the BCF drafted their 2012-16 strategic plan wants the code to generate its own money and stop relying on the club’s affiliation fees, BNSC grants and occasional FIDE grants. “When we prepare for the Olympiads, Africa Championships and regional competitions we need some preparatory games, but you will find that with the limited budget we are failing on those projects. So we should do businesses and buy shares so we have our own wells of finances,” the FIDE trainer said. Apart from the finances, he believes that the strategic plan was never implemented and he would put it in practice, and ensuring there is discipline in the code. “All those three contestants were absent without apology when we drafted the strategy,” he concluded.
For EN-Passent’s Thabano, development and league are his priorities. “I was part of the committee as the Development Director and we set a base, what should now happen is to ensure that the players go up the ladder and improve on their ratings,” he said. Young players like Besa Masaiti and Naledi Marape have been shining. He also wants to bring back more of the veteran players to the game, and also bring back the league that would cater for older and young players.
“Association of the blind is paying subscription fees to BCF so under my leadership I would want them to be part of us by availing resources to them since others are partly while others are totally blind,” he said. Mothokomedi says he will further nurture and retain available sponsors while negotiating with new ones. The elections will be held in Kanye on the 27th of this month in Kanye.
The Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, has expressed its underlying desire to reawaken and improve sport policy.
This is also in line with the declaration made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week about the need to improve sport performance in the country. The sport policy was first enacted in 2001 when the Department of Sport and Recreation was under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.
The review of this policy is expected to commence soon and strive to address all socio-economic problems bedevilling sport. The examination will start from the elements that speak to the direct processes of national dialogue of sport and come up with recommendations for improvement.
As things stand, the Sport Ministry has coordinated a task force to deal with the taxing issue of school sports where teachers have downed tools demanding special kind of payment for partaking in extracurricular activities. The government through various means has been made aware that sport forms an integral part of the country’s vision.
If the policy is finally revised, the country and other stakeholders will eventually achieve national development, unity and continued economic growth. “The national Sport Commission Act is also being reviewed to facilitate sport to contribute to the economy through commercialization and professionalism, as well as to improve the welfare and the rights to our sportspersons,” Masisi said in his address.
The review will once again take a long route of extensive consultative processes where critical factors were initially identified as continuous constraint to sport development. There is a wide ranging view that sport is solely for recreation. This anomaly is fast becoming a matter of yesteryears as more athletes are making a living out of sport.
In October of 1997, a discussion paper on sport policy development was prepared. At the time, the workshop brought together policy and decision makers. The discussions precisely centred on issues of sport participation and development. Participants included among others, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) and National Sports Associations.
There was the discovery of limited funding in sport and poor sporting facilities in the country. This has negatively impacted on the performance of national sports associations, particularly on the global stage. As a measure to this problem, the government has decided to build 10 mini stadia to up participation and performance.
In 2001 when the policy was formulated, there was an agreement that the national guiding principles of democracy, development, unity, self-reliance and botho are cardinal to the development strategy of socio-economic development planning. The Ministry believes that sport and recreation in Botswana have a close relationship with all these national principles.
When speaking to this publication, the Chief Executive Officer of BNSC, Tuelo Serufho said there is indeed an overwhelming appetite to improve sport performance and participation in the country. “Yes we need to engage both BNSC and BNOC to improve and review the sport policy more because it has been overtaken by time…it needs to be aligned with modern sports trends,” Serufho briefly shared.
The world football governing body, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has ordered trouble torn Mochudi Centre Chiefs to compensate their former coach, Philani Mabhena, after unceremoniously dismissing him in the summer of 2019 with only a few months left on his contract.
FIFA agreed with Mabhena that Magosi, as Chiefs are affectionately called breached his employment contract. FIFA is of the view that Chiefs had no prima facie evidence that could lead to unilateral termination of a contract. The decision of FIFA’s status committee is that Chiefs should pay the Zimbabwean born coach an amount of BWP 111, 100 within 30 days.
The money is divided into two categories. BWP 56 100 which is derived from the period of 11 August 2019 until the end of contract. The other amount is P55 000 which was accumulated between January 2019 until a time he was sacked. Those amounts was accumulation of unpaid wages.
FIFA warned that more stringent action will be taken against Chiefs should they fail to deposit the amount before the set deadline. Mabhena claimed that Chiefs, before his contract was terminated, was never paid his signing on fee of P 15 000 as settlement remuneration.
He also argued that he had gone a couple of months without receiving his monthly wages. According to the terms of the contract, he was supposed to be paid P 15 000 every month. Chiefs to their bravery, has accepted the outstanding salary arrears of the former coach that stretched to P 56 100.
FIFA accused the shrinking Kgatleng giants of negligence and refusal to honour contractual obligations and this has brought far reaching consequences. Should Chiefs fail to honour FIFA orders, they are likely to be banned from signing coaches and players. They are also likely to forfeit points when the football season begins until full payment is completed.
The debts come at a time when the club desperately seeks a premier league return. They were rumoured to be eyeing to buy one premier league status to compete for the grandest prizes like before. Chiefs were relegated because of poor administration at board level. The team tried many times to professionalize but each attempt was beaten by the club society raging wars that consequently stalled progress.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs sporting club was first registered in July of 1974. The club was registered as a society under the societies Act of Botswana as a football team. It is noted that the club participated in the upper league of BFA under the terms prescribed in the constitution of the association together with the confinement of the societies act.
Premier League rookies, Sua Flamingos have fired their coach Raizor Tsatsilebe for allegedly speaking up for his players. Tsatsilebe who joined the team last season and helped them win Debswana First Division North league, was at the end of the season thanked with a one year contract extension.
His stay at Sua was to end in July of 2021 but things took a turn for the worst recently when management was said to be fed up with his demands. Reports claim that the Sua management felt the coach was more on the side of the players and did not approach things holistically, a move that led to his untimely expulsion.
“Since his arrival this side, he has been vocal about treatment of players, their welfare and as you know, players here have not been receiving their salaries but are given allowances on monthly basis. He felt maybe the club should at least pay half salaries as they have now resumed training. He also requested that the team should sign some players but that did not happen despite promises by the club. The final nail was when management left his goalkeeper coach, Terence Modikwe and signed Kagiso Tshelametsi without consulting him,” said a source at the team.
The club Chairman, Tirelo Thebe, confirmed that they have decided to part ways as with the feeling that they can no longer work together. “Yes it’s true we met with the coach and we agreed to terminate his one year contract because the relationship has soured. We cannot disclose more than this because it’s an internal matter and in the meantime our assistant coach will take over on interim basis while we look for his replacement,” said Thebe.
Tsatsilebe on his part felt hard done by the team after promoting them to the elite league- something they have been failing to achieve. “They are the ones who opted to terminate the contract not me and they couldn’t give me reasons why they are terminating. It’s a pity we coaches encounter such things in our lives but it has to continue,” said the 49 year old coach.