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P9 million for Athletics

P9 million for Athletics

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) will use the P9 million sponsorship received from Debswana mining company to prepare for four major upcoming events which National athletes team shall part on.

According to BAA president Botlhale Phaphane, the Debswana sponsorship will be for a period of three years from 2022 until 2024 with the association set to receive P3 million annually.  The BAA President said the sponsorship will be channeled towards preparing for the Africa Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth games and World Junior Championships as well as the road to Paris 2024 Olympics.

Phaphane expressed gratitude towards the world leading diamond producer Debswana for the noble gesture. He further assured Debswana management that the sponsorship shall be used to develop as many athletes as possible – as athletics nowadays is seen as a profession.
When handing over the sponsorship, Debswana Managing Director Lynette Armstrong said, “This marks yet another testament to our dedication to uplifting the lives of Batswana, in line with our Building Forever Aspirations, a key part of our 2024 One Dream, One Team strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Armstrong further said that, “In recent international tournaments, our athletes have shown us that with proper support, they can compete at the highest level and deliver silverware, with the launch of this year’s sponsorship, and we hope that our athletes will continue to do Botswana proud.” For his part The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare said the recent success of team Botswana at the World Junior Championship 2021 in Kenya was a clear indication of the important role that grassroots developments plays in ensuring success.

He said the recent achievements by the team point to the outcome of a combination of a robust talent identification system, good nurturing of athletes and good support by both private and public structures with entities like Debswana.  Minister Rakgare also noted that the government is currently constructing ten sport facilities across the country hence they will no doubt enhance quality of sport programming and sport performance.

Minster Rakgare encouraged the BAA to work hard and use the sponsorship to ensure that the athletes thrive. “Please ensure that accountability is key, share your plan with Debswana and give them quarterly reports of how you will use the money,” he said. Meanwhile BAA this past weekend at Francistown held Track and field series in which two national records were shattered, with three athletes qualifying for upcoming championship.

Kemorena Tisang who under the mentorship of national team coach Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyana registered a new record in the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 49.96 breaking national record of 50.88 which was set in 2011 by Daniel Lagamang at the All Africa Games.
He registered a personal best time of 49.96, setting a new national record as well as qualifying for the Africa Senior Championships to be held later this year.

Kelebogile Ambrose of Lion’s Den Athletics Club re-wrote a national record she set on the 15th January 2022 of 10.77m to register a new national record in the women’s shot put of 10.86. In an interesting turn of events, Letsile Tebogo who is the World Junior Championship medalist and 100m and 200m specialized ran his first ever 400m eventually setting a personal best of 46.09. Tebogo’s time was enough to secure his ticket to World under 20 Championships as well as the Africa Senior Championships in the men’s 400m. Another national team athlete Bayapo Ndori, a 400m specialist of Maun BDF Athletics Club registered national leading time of 45.78 in the men’s 400m, which earned him a spot for the Africa Senior Championships.

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Botswana ranked 4th in Zone 4 boxing tourney

4th May 2022
Boxing

The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.

In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.

The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.

According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.

He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”

According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.

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Sport

Mascom Charity Cup raised P500K

4th May 2022
Mascom Charity Cup

The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.

While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.

Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.

It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.

The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.

In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.

It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it.
In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.

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Sport

Golden boot race intensifies

4th May 2022
Sesinyi vs Kgamanyane

Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.

With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.

Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.

Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages.
With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign.  Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.

But there is no doubt that  Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.

Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.

Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.

Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.

The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI.  Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.

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