Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) will carry on with national sports programs without a substantive Chief Executive Officer for the foreseeable future, amid advanced talks of merging the entity with Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).
BNOC is currently led by Wedu Motswetla on acting capacity, while Tuelo Serufho is in charge of BNSC as substantive CEO following a short spell as interim. Though the Ministry of Sport is cagey about progress relating to the merger, the BNOC CEO may never be filled due to the anticipated merger.
WeekendSport further learns that the issue bubbled beneath the ground again this week as BNSC held a consultative workshop with national sport association. Although it is not clear what the agenda of the workshop was to be, it turns out from different sources that “there is a dream to change how sport is ministered in the country.”
Part of that dream, sources speculate that is to give priority to sports codes that bring optimal results on international stage and also attend to the ever taxing issue of merging both BNOC and BNSC to become one authoritative sport organ.
The Wednesday workshop was conducted outside the eye of the media, but sources tell this publication that the Ministry is keen of hastening the merger of BNOC and BNSC to improve governance, results and efficiency across the sport fraternity.
When approached for clarity, the BNSC CEO, Tuelo Serufho, declined to comment. He could only say he is still engaged in meeting, but further details will be shared at an appropriate time. The idea to merge is believed to be Tumiso Rakgare’s biggest ambition as the Minister of Sport, sources claim.
Early this year, a paper document was presented at the table of the BNSC to further engage with the ministry to find a common ground. The paper came out with three options to be studied for the dream of merger to become reality. The first option carried within the research paper gives the ministry liberty to move all sporting codes from the BNSC administration wing to the custodianship of BNOC.
This will therefore mean that the two sports entities stand firm as they are, but proper role clarity is defined. The BNOC will provide care to the sporting codes, while BNSC will run sport policies only.is an option that Minister Tumiso Rakgare and his high-ranking cadre will have to seriously ponder on. The second possibility, according to sources, is that BNSC be allowed to administer the sports and recreation programme, which is currently under the ministry.
The think-tanks further provide the sport ministry with possibilities to empower sports codes and give them autonomy. However, the options remain tricky, but sources say it is a possibility that can craft better role clarity between the two bodies. The third option is of a total merger. This is the possibility that the Minister wants to achieve with all his heart, his close associates have told this publication.
It is also said the appointment of former BNSC CEO, Kitso Kemoeng as the Deputy Permanent Secretary was purposely revolving around the idea of fast tracking the total merger of the sports bodies. It, however, seems that the Minister is more inclined to dissolving the two bodies and form one entity. The creation of the looming body is borne out of lessons learnt from various sports governance models around the world.
In South Africa, the Sports Ministry facilitated discussions to merge the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the South African Sports Commission. Their authoritative sports body is now called South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). With the South African model well in place, Botswana is seemingly much eager to benchmark and build a sports body as a civic society-based organisation as required by the statutes of international sports bodies.
This week, the 2019/2020 league champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, announced the signing of former Lusaka Dynamos midfielder Mothusi Cooper for a period of six months.
Cooper, a 23-year-old versatile midfielder, terminated his contract with Lusaka Dynamos a few months ago due to unpaid salaries and signing-on fees. Cooper had joined the Zambian giants from Township Rollers.
In an interview with this publication this week, Tankiso Morake, Galaxy Public Relations Officer (PRO), said their head coach, Morena Ramoreboli, recommended the club to bolster their midfield.
“We felt it was necessary for us as Galaxy to increase our depth in the midfield; fortunately, Cooper was available since he has been declared a free agent,” Morake alluded.
“It is an advantage for us as Galaxy to sign a player of Cooper calibre, though we are not saying we don’t have good players. We just wanted to give the coach what he wants and also add more depth to our squad,” he said.
“It will grant coach more quality players since we are playing the CAF Championship group stage, the league games and also the Orange FA Cup.”
According to Morake, the deal favours both the player and his agent, as it will give the 23-year-old the opportunity to attract interest abroad due to participation in the CAF Championship group stages.
When contacted for comment, Bakang Moipone, who is the player’s agent, said: “The intention was never to go for a local move, but the most unfortunate thing is that as much as we had offers from other teams in Zambia, South Africa, and North Africa and also trying to poach something from Europe, it is challenging to find a foreign player slot during the January transfer window.”
Furthermore, Moipone revealed that the clubs which were interested in his services did not have the foreign slot available to register the versatile midfielder.
“We concluded by saying the player cannot wait until June without having a club; hence we opted for a local move for six months knowing that we will be able to get a club during the winter transfer window,” the player agent noted.
“We received several offers from local teams such as Rollers, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Galaxy, and it was him (Cooper) who chose Galaxy since they have qualified for the CAF Championship group stage as he believes it will give him international exposure and also create more options for him for an oversea move.”
Moipone highlighted that the move to Galaxy was not monetary. The ultimate reason was for the player to gain match fitness while anticipating moving abroad in June to further his professional career.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the former senior national team head coach Adel Amrouche is had secured a lucrative deal for troubled Zebras star Cooper.
The player, recently on Lusaka Dynamos books, is anticipated to move abroad once the 2021/2021 season ends.
The club’s name remains unknown, but sources speculate that the player will land in a team based in Belgium.
Cooper will be the third player whose overseas move is masterminded by Amrouche after secured deals for Kabelo Seakanayeng and Tumisang Orebonye to Olympique Khouribga, a club based in Morocco.
Despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 scourge to the chess fraternity calendar of events, the First Capital Bank Festive Chess Showdown tournament returns this year with improved prizes.
The tournament, which started in 2019 with a sponsorship of P22 000, will proceed with this year’s an increased backing from P42 000 to P50 000. The adjustment prompted the organizers to increase the prizes across sections. Scheduled to take place in Francistown from the 11th-13thof December, the tournament has seen a steadfast growth in sponsorship and attracting high profile players during the two years.
According to the event organizer Thapelo Molefe, the total sponsorship amounts to P49 945, a gesture that allowed them to increase prizes by 14%. The prestige section, which generally attracts highly rated players, has a top prize of P4200, an increase from P3600, while the open section got a P1000 increase to P3000. The ladies section now attracts a prize of P2000 from the previous P1800. However, the Under 18 and development section awards remain unchanged at P1500 and P300.
“The deal is solid and beneficial to both parties so that it won’t stop anytime soon. We have a telepathic understanding with the bank; they have social responsibility at the core of their business. There isn’t much of a difference except the increase in prize monies. Foreign internationals have always graced our events in numbers, and we look forward to having them again in our third installment of this magnificent undertaking,” said Molefe.
The last edition was won by Gaasite Sebetlela and WCM Refilwe Gabatshwarwe in the open and ladies section, respectively, while Monnatsheko Keletshabile emerged the champion in the prestige section.
Morale inside Gaborone United camp is high with the team oozing with confidence and licking their lips to lift the Orange FA trophy, as the team has been assured to share the P700k first prize amongst themselves should they win.
The promise was made by the club Chief financier Nicholas Zachem earlier this year as part of motivating the team following a long spell of football thirst and hunger. The players and the technical team are looking at the big carrot that has been dangled before them and have never looked back.
GU has been marauding other teams, going down for the first time 1-2 against BDF X1. The Innocent Morapedi and Pontsho Moloi mentored side is currently on 2nd position on the league log with 15 points after six games, only a point separate them with log leaders Township Rollers.
The Reds are also in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and are facing stubborn Jwaneng Galaxy in what could be a litmus test for them. Their in-form forward Thatayaone Kgamanyane is expected to lead the attack to eliminate Galaxy and face either Township Rollers or Masitaoka in the finals.
The high flying club has managed five clean sheets this season, with their goalkeeper Goitseone Phoko even voted player of the month. “It’s a great feeling to have been chosen as player of the month. The award will motivate me to perform to my level best in every game. As much as this award is mine, I would like to thank my teammates who have contributed immensely in ensuring that I keep those clean sheets,” said Phoko after pocketing P1000 cash for his toil.
GU Brand and Marketing Manager, Herbert Letsebe said the club decided to introduce monthly awards to motivate players. “This is a build up to our end of the season awards where will crown player of the season and other individual awards,” he said.