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Northern teams in relegation quagmire

The battle for northern teams to feature in the elite league ensues, and Tafic and BR Highlanders are at it again. One of the teams has the fate of the other in their hands.

Yarona FM Sports host, Foz Phatsimo has boldly remarked, “If Tafic can finish the current campaign of first division north on pole position, second placed BR Highlanders won’t qualify for the premier league, but if Highlanders finishes top and Tafic second, the two will play elite football next season.”  

Perhaps, Fox’s controversial assertion is to a certain extent true, and one would pray for the latter statement to live up to see two teams from the northern division in top flight next season. Should this happen, it will try to balance a huge disparity of 10 teams from the southern against six from north.

From these six however, only Orapa United is battling out with Southern teams for both the Mascom Top 8 and league honours.  The remaining five, Mahalapye Hotspurs (8 points), Green Lovers (9 points), Sankoyo Bush Bucks (14 points), Nico United (15 points) and Miscellaneous (15 points) are all rooted from the bottom up to the 12th position.


The only closest southern team is Mochudi Centre Chiefs with 16 points. This, according to pundits, is enough for many to draft obituary of at least three teams from north at the end of the season. This will be a bitter pill to swallow for the northerners as the domination of Gaborone and surrounding teams continue to be consolidated.

The only season where balance looked certain was in 2013/14 season when the ratio was 9:7. The numbers of the north teams dwindled again at the end of the same season, with Tafic, Miscellaneous and United Flamingo Santos relegated. “There is only one factor to this, resources are centralised, and everyone is coming down south for survival especially for jobs and schools (tertiary). This has made it a mountain work for those north of Dibete to attract quality players who could help their teams to be maintaining their stay and eventually challenging for championship,” said a shrewd football administrator, Phuthego Setete.

Only Orapa and Nico have been the pride of the northerners since the two managed to pull quality players through employment bargaining from the mines. Even Ecco City Greens historically clinched the elite league in 2007, through the support of BMC.
In the just ended transfer window, all the teams had not made notable signings but opted for new registrations and acquired from lower division sides while losing quality players to their financially fit opponents in the process. The eminent closure of BCL has cost Nico, while Green Lovers, Hotspurs and Sankoyo’s financial doldrums is expected to affect their status by the end of the season. 

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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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