Nico swoops for Mading
In a bid to survive the harsh economic conditions in the struggling town of Selibe Phikwe, Nico United has been forced to become ruthless with fellow clubs in the region.
WeekendSport has established that Nico United who are reeling from financial doldrums after BCL pulled the plug on them, are busy behind the scenes cajoling FC Satmos Director, Mooketsi “China” Mading. Though Mading is yet to commit his arrival by signing on the dotted lines, indications according to sources are that the agreement is almost a done deal.
“We haven’t agreed anything with him thus far,” Nico United Communication and Marketing head Mogomotsi Orapeleng said. Ever since the BCL pulled out as sponsor, Majombolo have found life difficult and have decided to scavenge on their fellow teams for survival lest they perish. The mine has ceased everything they helped the team with including offices, bus and hostels. But Mading has lent them a helping hand in the mean time, “he has been assisting us with transport logistics,” Orapeleng added.
The impending arrival of Mading, who is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers to ever come from this country, has Nico United family licking their lips and counting their blessings as they know that they have killed two birds with one stone. He is expected to continue assisting the team with transport and other administrative issues full time.
The management also wants him to help the technical team and most importantly use his charm to lure quality players to Nico especially from Satmos. It is said the agreement between the two parties is tailored in a way that Mading will get a certain percentage from the premier league grant at the end of the season. “By the way, for him to get these monies he will have to help the team find a top eight bracket position,” underscored a source.
Reports from the team indicate the leadership is not convinced by the way the Zimbabwean gaffer Dean Mwiinde is playing his cards hence the need to have Mading inside the dressing room. “I have heard their interest though in an informal setup and I’m ready to join them, remember that I was raised by Nico when I came here from Rollers so chances of me refusing them are very slim,” Mading said adding with laughter.
Reports of power struggle have been engulfing Satmos which is currently second from the bottom in the Debswana First Division North Log as another faction led by Abel Israel wanted to overthrow Mading. Satmos have been failing to honour some of their games due to internal wrangling. However, the team opposing Mading has also quit the club leaving only a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the heads of the Botshabelo based Satmos.
“I’m no longer part of the team, ask Mading if there is anything you want to know,” Israel who mounted a bitter fight with Mading over the club’s control earlier this year said. “I’m part of the team; only that my involvement is limited because I wanted to give others a chance to run the team but I do support them with everything they need,” Mading added. He went on to highlight that survival chances for Satmos are minimal after failing to honour two of their matches.
NICO PATRNERS WITH PEDEGREE SPORT
While the Cheetahs are finding the going tough, Majombolo are moving forward despite a challenging life in Phikwe as they have roped in a new technical sponsor, Pedigree Sport. The partnership will be launched today in Phikwe. “We are very much delighted to be seen giving a local brand especially owned by youth the platform to showcase what he can offer,” Orapeleng said. Finer details on the deal could not be revealed before press time as the official launch was yet to be done.
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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.”
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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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