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BNSC, BAA terminate Matlhaku sponsorship

Promising athlete Leungo Matlhaku’s Tuks University sponsorship has been terminated following poor academic performances by the sprint runner.

Matlhaku was enrolled at the high performance center with hopes that she would be exposed to the best resources for her to reach her maximum potential. However, the young athlete is said to have failed to impress both academically and on the tracks, leading to financiers, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) terminating her sponsorship.

Although the issue of unsatisfactory performance in the field has many thinking that it could be the main reason behind the termination, Roland Masalila BAA PRO, has said that the main motive for her axing, was academic poor performance. “You see, with field events we can find ways of helping her improve, but with her dismal performance in the lecture room we had no other choice but to terminate the agreement,’’ he said.

The decision which was taken unanimously by both parties after ‘careful consideration’ is likely to backfire as it contradicts the vision of the sports council for the long term athlete development plan. Critics have argued that the two bodies took an “ill-informed decision because they could have left the athlete to train at the best facilities like Montsho and forget about academics if at all we are serious with sport’’.

Matlhaku, who has been based in Pretoria South-Africa, is already in Botswana. BAA has said that they will enroll the athlete into one of the centers of sport excellence for her to continue with training. “We are planning to enroll her at either Mogoditshane or Good-Hope senior where she can train well,’’ Masalila said.

However the center of sport excellence has not been as robust as it should be as the teachers are no longer taking part in sport presenting a rather blurred picture of whether the athlete would train as expected, but the BAA AGM last month announced that they have appointed Mogomotsi Otsetswe to take reigns at Good hope senior in the near future, a prospect they are likely banking on.

Efforts to contact the BNSC head of technical, Bobby Gaseitsiwe were futile as all his mobile numbers were off on Thursday morning.

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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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