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BCF presidential race gains momentum

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.

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Sport

Rollers make digital strides

11th June 2021
rollers_0121

A recent study shows that Township Rollers is not only popular within the perimeters of Botswana, but has also made significant steps within the digital football platforms in Africa.

Out of the 70 African football clubs ranked on the African football digital benchmark, Township Rollers comes on the 35th position backed by a massive social media following. The club website records more than 399 000 followers and is seen as the most interactive in the local game.

This is consistent with the recent study conducted by FIFA- world football governing body- that Rollers is the only team locally that makes use of its digital platforms.

Notably, it comes out that the gap between Township Rollers and the rest of the 15 Premier League clubs is abysmal, this therefore works against creating a strong BPL brand value.

Rollers is the only club with more than 50 000 followers on Facebook, more than 20 000 followers on Twitter while its Instagram platform stands strong at 27 800 followers.

However, it is found out that much of the BPL brand value is killed by some social Facebook football fan accounts.  They have stood long and have thus attracted more followers than the official accounts. Pages like Killers Pass and Botswana Football have consequently seen more than 100 000 following. Both of the accounts give 24 hour on-going updates of football’s latest news, transfers, results, video and live updates.

FIFA has therefore come to a conclusion that the two social media pages have grown interactive since they incite followers to answer and present their impressions about local football.

It comes into the open that 70 percent of domestic premier league clubs do not have official websites. This according to FIFA, kills the brand and visibility of clubs hence failure to attract lucrative sponsors by the clubs. FIFA also found out that the remaining 30 percent of clubs with websites are lacklustre and found wanting when it comes to their online presence. But in this regard, Rollers is on pole position.

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Sport

GU finally snatches Ditsele

3rd June 2021
Lebogang Ditsele

Hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele has completed a move from Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, to Gaborone United in a reported lucrative two-year deal, WeekendSport can confirm.

The Reds have finally made their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be happy to have completed the transfer after a heavy fall out with Galaxy management.

He wants to play football that pays, something which Galaxy cannot offer and the allure of GU was certainly too much for Ditsele to turn a blind eye.

The team as led and directed by construction magnate, Nicholas Zakhem- who is reported to have given ‘CCTV’ a mouth-watering P30 000 per month plus winning bonuses contract in demonstration of their seriousness to win silverware.

Sometime in March, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum-to either improve his contract benefits or let him go-after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the devastating effects of the corona virus pandemic.

Galaxy had arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P 3000 until a time football returns to the field with moneyed sponsorships.

“We are proud to have signed him because he will add quality to our squad once football returns. Always a quality player and like him and he is now available, you don’t say there is no football, you tie him down before other clubs beat you to his signature,” said club Director, Nicholas Zakhem.

It is believed that Ditsele has always recognized GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. Ditsele was at Gilport Lions before he was snatched up by Galaxy and now GU.  His moves come as no surprise as his dream has always been to play for high paying clubs.

No doubt, Ditsele has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but the lad has always felt that the time is right to move on. Ditsele leaves having a year left on his contract.

It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with the last season being his best, winning the premiership title.

Once Galaxy has sent him to overseas club at Highlands Park but returned home after a short stint.

However, the fan favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, The Zebras, was never going to be held by the terms of his contract.

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Sport

No injury problems for Amos

2nd June 2021
Nijel Amos

Despite encountering an injury scare ahead of the IAAF Diamond League circuit this week, Nijel Amos’ Olympic dream is still on track and he remains ever capable to stun the world by replicating his famous feat at the 2012 Olympic Games.

This was confirmed by his coaches and doctors after the Botswana star suffered a minor calf injury that forced him out of the weekend race. The multiple conqueror of 800m races is expected back on the track on June 9th to shake off this injury scare and face the possibilities of winning another Olympic medal. This likelihood only has one month to go!

Amos remains the only Motswana athlete to ever win a medal at the Olympic Games, a rare but magnificent accomplishment that still lingers in the memory of Botswana sport fraternity. At the time, he was only 18 years and strange enough, that silver medal felt like Gold for many.

His anticipated presence at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is on course to renew the long standing rivalry between him and the Kenyan 800m world record holder, David Rudisha. This is the same Kenyan competitor who won Gold when Botswana’s Amos came second in a race that would become the toast of the competitions at the London Olympics.

However, two years later, at 2014 Commonwealth Games, Amos dethroned Rudisha in another breath-taking race that confirmed and sparked the ongoing thrilling competitiveness — filled with pleasure, pain and sporting hatred- between the two.

When Amos was beaten in London, he never cared who won the race but was ecstatic to have finished at the podium, writing his name into Olympic Game folklore.

But in Glasgow, for Rudisha, defeat seemed not to have diminished his hopes. After the finish, when the lacerations were sharpest and the wound deepest, Rudisha was pictured hugging Nijel Amos, and congratulating him for a job well done.

Then, Amos was just 20 years, oozing with confidence. The shy looking Rudisha wrapped a Kenyan flag around his back and went on a lap of honour to celebrate his silver medal.

If there was disappointment Rudisha masked it with the skill of an actor. He smiled and waved as he received a standing ovation. “Amos is a tough competitor and he was very good,” Rudisha once admitted, stating matters of sporting facts that would follow between the two runners. Win. Lose. Win. Lose.

But then, there have been echoes of a swollen Muhammad Ali after his defeat to Joe Frazier, winking at the hundreds of fans who had converged at his hotel, determined to show light on his darkest day. The bruises on that day were to Rudisha’s record, not his face. Like Ali, he promised to be back.

But that night was about Amos. A callow 18-year-old who finished second to Rudisha at London 2012 sharpened his confidence, hardened by beating his idol twice on the Diamond League circuit, grew with each passing year.

However, both athletes began to suffer sporting injuries of their own, they lost the edge they were well-known for and it is why at the 2016 Olympic Games, the bookmakers were upset when they could not meet at the final. It was Amos who faltered in the heats and although Rudisha became the first Kenyan to retain an Olympic title, it was not as scintillating as it was in 2012.

Now with a month to go, Amos is living in prayer, hoping he stays free from injuries. He is looking forward to become the star again. He has won everything at the diamond league and broke every national record, but his eyes are still fixed on the ultimate prize- the Gold medal at the international stage, with or without David Rudisha.

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