Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) has returned home with impressive results after performing far beyond what was set as a target for a team of fifteen Judokas that took part in the Common wealth games that were held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa recently by returning home with two gold medals through Thato Lebang (under 73 Junior) and Tumiso Phuthego (under 50 pre cadet).
Judokas were bit by the buck of lack as they also managed to get silver medals, through Letlhogile Tsheko (under 66 junior), Gwafilao Tema (under 50 pre cadet),Lucky Mabaka (under 48 cadet )Maitumelo Kebadilwe (under 44 pre cadet ).The team also pocketed bronze medals by Gavin Mogopa (under 55 junior ) ,Maatla Serokana (under 55 cadet ,Phadi Baboile (under 48 pre cadet ).
Thato and Gavin who have a noticeable journey in various competitions and highly regarded athletes played the seniors as well during the competitions and they both got a bronze medal and also finish on top 8 in their respective categories. This current wins and including other success means that Gavin and Thato they are player to reckon with and that they can still pull some surprises come the Olympic time in Rio this year.
While the federation could not set the eyes on high hills without knowing the way down of the hill side, it can be said that the plan to grant players exposure was achieved despite the fact that all of them didn’t bring medals. Furthermore, the federation will be now hopeful of better results in the future from promising athletes such as Edwin Sello,and Neo Kapeko in the senior category. Also, this will be more beneficial for development for the young stars such as Maatla Serokana, Gwafila Tema,Tumiso Phuthego female, and Maitumelo Kebadilwe, even though they didn’t turn out to be a big story in their respective categories.
According to coach Kingsley shared that “We went there mainly for exposure particularly for Pre Cadets & Cadets but our commitment did wonders”. The exposure given the young stars appears to be a step in the right direction for the Judokas “We have a very good team going forward, all we need to do is to continue working even harder and take our athletes out for international training camps especially prior to competitions”, coach further mentioned.
Sensei Kingsley Segokotlo Tumpane,the head coach who received his coach certificates last year from the university of Tokai in Japan says that the secretes of their success is that they have been working very hard over the years, train perennially even when there are no upcoming events. Coach, further, revealed that they also have the best development, some of our athletes started doing judo when they were as young as 6 years, “I think that's what basically gave us an upper hand”, he added.
Prior to their departure to South Africa, head coach, Sensei Kingsley Segokotlo Tumpane shared that as a federation they only hoped for at least three medals and the results accrued heralds that the probability of snatching three medals were just a stone throw away reality. Coach remained firm that they are also to preparing players for local games by giving them international exposure to boast their confidence. However, the question is will this pulsating success constitutes mission accomplished for them, considering the fact that some of the Judokas have undertaken fights in both the seniors and the juniors that being the duo Gavin and Thato Botswana stars.
The Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, has expressed its underlying desire to reawaken and improve sport policy.
This is also in line with the declaration made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week about the need to improve sport performance in the country. The sport policy was first enacted in 2001 when the Department of Sport and Recreation was under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.
The review of this policy is expected to commence soon and strive to address all socio-economic problems bedevilling sport. The examination will start from the elements that speak to the direct processes of national dialogue of sport and come up with recommendations for improvement.
As things stand, the Sport Ministry has coordinated a task force to deal with the taxing issue of school sports where teachers have downed tools demanding special kind of payment for partaking in extracurricular activities. The government through various means has been made aware that sport forms an integral part of the country’s vision.
If the policy is finally revised, the country and other stakeholders will eventually achieve national development, unity and continued economic growth. “The national Sport Commission Act is also being reviewed to facilitate sport to contribute to the economy through commercialization and professionalism, as well as to improve the welfare and the rights to our sportspersons,” Masisi said in his address.
The review will once again take a long route of extensive consultative processes where critical factors were initially identified as continuous constraint to sport development. There is a wide ranging view that sport is solely for recreation. This anomaly is fast becoming a matter of yesteryears as more athletes are making a living out of sport.
In October of 1997, a discussion paper on sport policy development was prepared. At the time, the workshop brought together policy and decision makers. The discussions precisely centred on issues of sport participation and development. Participants included among others, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) and National Sports Associations.
There was the discovery of limited funding in sport and poor sporting facilities in the country. This has negatively impacted on the performance of national sports associations, particularly on the global stage. As a measure to this problem, the government has decided to build 10 mini stadia to up participation and performance.
In 2001 when the policy was formulated, there was an agreement that the national guiding principles of democracy, development, unity, self-reliance and botho are cardinal to the development strategy of socio-economic development planning. The Ministry believes that sport and recreation in Botswana have a close relationship with all these national principles.
When speaking to this publication, the Chief Executive Officer of BNSC, Tuelo Serufho said there is indeed an overwhelming appetite to improve sport performance and participation in the country. “Yes we need to engage both BNSC and BNOC to improve and review the sport policy more because it has been overtaken by time…it needs to be aligned with modern sports trends,” Serufho briefly shared.
The world football governing body, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has ordered trouble torn Mochudi Centre Chiefs to compensate their former coach, Philani Mabhena, after unceremoniously dismissing him in the summer of 2019 with only a few months left on his contract.
FIFA agreed with Mabhena that Magosi, as Chiefs are affectionately called breached his employment contract. FIFA is of the view that Chiefs had no prima facie evidence that could lead to unilateral termination of a contract. The decision of FIFA’s status committee is that Chiefs should pay the Zimbabwean born coach an amount of BWP 111, 100 within 30 days.
The money is divided into two categories. BWP 56 100 which is derived from the period of 11 August 2019 until the end of contract. The other amount is P55 000 which was accumulated between January 2019 until a time he was sacked. Those amounts was accumulation of unpaid wages.
FIFA warned that more stringent action will be taken against Chiefs should they fail to deposit the amount before the set deadline. Mabhena claimed that Chiefs, before his contract was terminated, was never paid his signing on fee of P 15 000 as settlement remuneration.
He also argued that he had gone a couple of months without receiving his monthly wages. According to the terms of the contract, he was supposed to be paid P 15 000 every month. Chiefs to their bravery, has accepted the outstanding salary arrears of the former coach that stretched to P 56 100.
FIFA accused the shrinking Kgatleng giants of negligence and refusal to honour contractual obligations and this has brought far reaching consequences. Should Chiefs fail to honour FIFA orders, they are likely to be banned from signing coaches and players. They are also likely to forfeit points when the football season begins until full payment is completed.
The debts come at a time when the club desperately seeks a premier league return. They were rumoured to be eyeing to buy one premier league status to compete for the grandest prizes like before. Chiefs were relegated because of poor administration at board level. The team tried many times to professionalize but each attempt was beaten by the club society raging wars that consequently stalled progress.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs sporting club was first registered in July of 1974. The club was registered as a society under the societies Act of Botswana as a football team. It is noted that the club participated in the upper league of BFA under the terms prescribed in the constitution of the association together with the confinement of the societies act.
Premier League rookies, Sua Flamingos have fired their coach Raizor Tsatsilebe for allegedly speaking up for his players. Tsatsilebe who joined the team last season and helped them win Debswana First Division North league, was at the end of the season thanked with a one year contract extension.
His stay at Sua was to end in July of 2021 but things took a turn for the worst recently when management was said to be fed up with his demands. Reports claim that the Sua management felt the coach was more on the side of the players and did not approach things holistically, a move that led to his untimely expulsion.
“Since his arrival this side, he has been vocal about treatment of players, their welfare and as you know, players here have not been receiving their salaries but are given allowances on monthly basis. He felt maybe the club should at least pay half salaries as they have now resumed training. He also requested that the team should sign some players but that did not happen despite promises by the club. The final nail was when management left his goalkeeper coach, Terence Modikwe and signed Kagiso Tshelametsi without consulting him,” said a source at the team.
The club Chairman, Tirelo Thebe, confirmed that they have decided to part ways as with the feeling that they can no longer work together. “Yes it’s true we met with the coach and we agreed to terminate his one year contract because the relationship has soured. We cannot disclose more than this because it’s an internal matter and in the meantime our assistant coach will take over on interim basis while we look for his replacement,” said Thebe.
Tsatsilebe on his part felt hard done by the team after promoting them to the elite league- something they have been failing to achieve. “They are the ones who opted to terminate the contract not me and they couldn’t give me reasons why they are terminating. It’s a pity we coaches encounter such things in our lives but it has to continue,” said the 49 year old coach.