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Nato rejoins Rollers

Ofentse Nato is set to complete a return move to high paying Township Rollers on a deal rumoured to stretch over a period of 2 years. The hard tackling midfielder is being sweet-talked by similar Township Rollers influential minds to ignore other intriguing offers, particularly from his boy hood club, Gaborone United.

The Botswana international is believed to have a deal on the table from low ranked teams in Spain but he has been unable to ignore the pull of Rollers, the club at which he still bleeds to write his name into folklore. He had a successful season with Indian side Athletico de Kolkata, a satellite team of Athletico Madrid of Spain. Nato was unbelievably signed by the Spanish side but loaned the player to India where he won the league, although playing fewer games from the bench.

Rollers has reshuffled their midfield options over a period of time, bringing back their prodigal son Nteseng Simanyana after enduring a difficult season with Gaborone United. They also signed Gape Mohutshiwa immediately after his club Motlakase Power Dynamos got relegated last season. Rollers management complained at times last season at the lack of productivity from their midfielders but they hope that Lawrence Majawa and Nato, aided perhaps by Simanyana who remains on the books, can fire an upturn.

It remains to be seen if Nato will be a first-choice selection in a midfield often times bossed by captain Maano Ditshupo, but the care taker coaches hope that his personality and experience will serve to inspire the rest of the dressing room, most notably the younger players.

Rollers has always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their signing of Simanyana last season was rooted, in part, by what he could bring away from the field. Nato is set to join more because his contract is ending with  Madrid, and he has signed to play, not to inspire, as he once declared he is quitting international football. Rollers says there has never been an option built into the deal for him to join them after his deal lapses with Madrid.

Nato joined Rollers early last season, but played few games after both Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gilport lions protested that he was not legally registered. When penning a 4 months deal last season, Nato’s earning were believed to be around P25 000.
Rollers management were not available for comment as of going for print. The club’s Public Relation Officer (PRO) Phempheretlhe Pheto could not field an enquiry from this publication as his phone rang without answers.

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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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