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Orapa, Rollers to settle score

A duel between defending champions, Orapa United and runners up, Township Rollers, in the Mascom Top 8 semi finals on January 27 will have all the ingredients of a classic encounter. The two have unfinished business from April last year, where the Ostriches won.

Multitudes of football lovers who gathered at the bus rank on Tuesday could not ask for a better draw than this. For Mapalastina, this is a chance to get revenge against United who made their April 23rd night nasty in Francistown last year. As for the Ostriches this could be the opportunity to prove that their 3-1 win that fateful night was no fluke.

The battlefield will remain unchanged to give each side an opportunity to prove their credentials to the football fraternity. With the two teams daring each other, the pendulum seems to be favouring the current league leaders. Though the two squads have not changed up to now with Orapa losing the game, changers in that final, Onkabetse Makgantai and Thabang Sesinyi, both still have the pull to fill the stadium.

Madinda Ndlovu’s drilled side is expected to roll on with the league momentum where they are yet to lose a game. The combination of Tendai Nyumasi, Lemogang Maswena, Ronald Chikomo and Omaatla Kebatho is what has been pulling other teams apart. The other factor which adds on to the Ostriches is the tranquillity within the club. Their technical team remains with Ndlovu who is a former Rollers gaffer who masterminded the fall of his former side last year.

“Rollers know us and we know them and we will have to repeat what transpired in Francistown again this time,” Tebatso Hule, Orapa United media liaison said. Mapalastina, who parted ways with Coach Mark Harrison a fortnight ago, will be under the care of both Teenage Mpote and Thabo Motang. The former has served as an assistant under the reign of both Ndlovu and Harrison and the Popa family has bestowed their trust on him. It will be a litmus test to prove to the blues what he has harnessed from the two mentors. But in many instances Rollers has struggled under the guidance of Mpote.

The unavailability of Rollers first choice goalkeeper, Kabelo Dambe, will leave another void which the Ostriches could easily profit from. For now, Mowampole Masule who has rarely played is tipped to take the first choice vacancy against the marauding Orapa striking force and Rollers’ survival chances narrow by the day.

“They owe us and there is no better time for sweet revenge than now. The team is ready and there is no how we can lose to Orapa this time,” said Rollers communication head, Bafana Pheto. Last season, apart from the Top 8 meeting, the two played to a goalless draw at Itekeng before Rollers emerged victorious in the corresponding fixture in Gaborone. It is on that basis that Popa believes that they will be winners this time around.

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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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