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Orapa United is the dark horse in title chase

Last season hardly anyone would have expected Orapa United to finish as beMOBILE Premiership league runners-up in their rookie season. United finished the title race ahead of initial title favourites Township Rollers.

This season, the Ostriches are proving that last season exploits were not a fluke. United is currently occupying the second spot 3 points behind Township Rollers and 3 points ahead of defending champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

This season, Orapa is also a serious title contender. In the meantime, the coach, Maxwell Moyo has parted ways with the club, but management astutely roped in former Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs title winning mentor Mandinda Ndlovu.

Ndlovu’s experience in winning the title also adds to advantage to the mining town giants league title prospects. Ndlovu’s arrival was also coupled with signing of exciting players such as Lemogang Maswena from relegated Notwane FC and Ronald Chikome from Gaborone United.

So far United has only been defeated once losing to BDF XI in an away encounter, the only team to better it in this respect being Rollers, which remains undefeated. Orapa has the impressive home ground recording, having never been defeated there since last season. The last premier league to beat Orapa United at Itekeng was BMC (Now Gilport Lions).

United is still in pole position to win double as it has also managed to reach the semis of the lucrative Mascom Top 8 tournament. United reached the last four after beating Extension Gunners 5-2 on aggregate. Rollers, Chiefs and BDF XI also reached the semis.  

United is hailed for its model after uniting several Orapa teams to establish one financially stable team. The adopted model “One Orapa, One Team” led to United easily winning promotion to the elite beMobile Premiership. This was coupled by luring of key players in their first season.

With supportive management, under the tutelage of Zimbabwean tactician Maxwell Moyo, United was able to sign former Ecco City Greens goalpoacher Patrick Lenyeletse from Mochudi Centre Chiefs. United also acquired Mandlaenkozi Sibanda and Lovemore Murirwa, the duo who formed integral part of the exciting Ecco City Greens side.

Perhaps the most important signing was capturing of former Zebras and BDF XI deep lying playmaker Patrick Motsepe. “Boy-Machesa” has been orchestrating the proceedings in the midfield of the park for united and has proved to be the team’s vital cog.

With such key singings and little expectations, United was able to finish behind Chiefs after challenging the title until the last games. This season the impressive story of Boteti based outfit continue and many observe that it pose threats both Rollers and Chiefs as title challengers and defending champions respectively.

United is reportedly closing on the signing of Gosaitse “Lewandoski” Manuel from Sankoyo Bush Bucks in the current transfer window.  The Sankoyo striker has been impressive this season in front of goals and he could enhance United’s league aspirations.

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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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