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Dinaledi miss out on 2023 World Cup

Botswana senior national netball team, Dinaledi, has been lauded for an impressive showing, galvanized with a bit of growth at the Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers which are to reach business end today in South Africa despite winning only two games and losing a further two.

The results saw them miss out on a spot in the semifinals and ultimately a flight ticket to the biggest quadrennial international netball world championship to be held from 28 July to 6 August in 2023 at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa which will mark the first time the tournament is staged on the African soil.

The two top finishing teams from the qualifying event will be invited by World Netball to compete at the NWC2023; this however does not include South Africa who has already pre-qualified for the NWC2023 as hosts.

Dinaledi coach Jenny Van Dyk told WeekendSport that she was impressed with the performance of her troops but could have fared way better.

“Looking at how we played (in Pretoria) and how we did in our last competitions beforehand, the team has showed immaculate growth as far as our style of play is concerned but had we, like other nations, played international friendlies and prepared well prior to these qualifiers, we could have done better because the team is immensely talented,” Van Dyk said.

International games with other netballing nations, Van Dyk said, provide the team with the necessary game time, experience and character therefore they are very vital leading to such tournaments of prestige.

Botswana were placed in Pool A with neighbors South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania and finished on the third spot behind South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Mokeresete Mokeresete, who is the Mouthpiece of the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) shared the same sentiments with Coach Van Dyk and told WeekendSport that although they fell short, the team played some impressive piece of netball.

He added that had Coach Van Dyk joined the team a bit earlier, the team could have done a lot better than they did and sworn that the future looks brighter for the team, as long the problems they encountered currently are rectified and worked upon.

Mokeresete concluded by promising that they will show up at next year’s Africa Cup at their very best more so that now they know what they need to work on to get the best out of the players and hopefully, they carry on with majority of the current crop, if not all of them.

But there is an alternative interpretation of the outcome, Former Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego questioned the criteria used as she believes South African netball team also known as Spar Proteas was not supposed to take part in Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers as they have already secured their place by virtue of being the hosts of the 2023 Netball World Cup.

Furthermore, Lebotse-Sebego who is also former Africa Netball President said since they were allowed (South Africa) to play the qualifiers, they should have played for the netball rankings and their results should not be part of their qualification results.

In essence for the purpose of qualification, Botswana has finished in the top two (2) from the group stages and therefore proceeds to the semifinals against the other top two (2) to determine the final two teams that will qualify for the upcoming World Cup.

According to World Netball, five more teams will be invited to compete at the Netball World Cup 2023 based on their ranking position. This means that Australia (1st), New Zealand (2nd), Jamaica (3rd) and England (4th) will now be invited to compete at the NWC2023. Uganda (6th) will also be invited; they have also qualified through their world ranking, due to South Africa (5th) pre-qualifying as hosts.

Meanwhile Botswana has made only two appearances at the World Cup thus far with their first maiden appearance was in 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand where they finished 10thin the final standings whereas their last appearance came in 2011 in Singapore where they finished 13thin the final standings.

Going to the qualifiers, Dinaledi went down fighting against Spar Proteas. They lost 37-60 in their opener. Dinaledi started off by sending a strong message to their opponents winning the first quarter 12-11. The Proteas bounced back in the second quarter winning it 11-15. They also claimed the third quarter 9-22.

Despite the score lines coach Van Dyk said the last time they played South Africa, the difference was 60 points and today they have trimmed the margin to only 20 points. That is a step in the right direction. This is our first international game this year. The girls are good to go. This is a team that can qualify for the World Cup, she said.

Their second game of the campaign was against 13th placed side, Zimbabwe in which they lost by 49-41 on Monday before tasting their first victory when they beat Namibia side by 45- 43. Dinaledi wrapped up their qualifiers campaign with 54-45 win against Tanzania.

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Ditlhokwe must avoid smugness at Amakhosi

5th December 2023

Kaizer Chiefs, one of South Africa’s biggest football clubs, has been facing a coaching crisis. In the midst of this turmoil, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, a local hard-tackling defender, has quickly become an integral member of the squad. However, despite his impressive performances, Ditlhokwe must avoid complacency and continue to work hard to secure his place in the star-studded team. TSHEPO KEHIMILE explores the potential impact of Chiefs’ frequent changes in coaching staff on Ditlhokwe and emphasize the need for him to maintain his high level of performance.

Ditlhokwe’s Rise to Prominence:

Ditlhokwe’s journey in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) began when he joined Supersport United on a three-year deal from Township Rollers. His talent and dedication quickly caught the attention of the technical team, and he became a trusted member of the squad. In January 2023, he signed a five-year contract with Kaizer Chiefs, one of the biggest clubs in South African football. His performances during pre-season matches against Young African and Township Rollers showcased his potential and promised a bright future at Amakhosi.

The Acid Test:

As the season progressed, Ditlhokwe faced several challenges. His first test came against Chippa United, where he and his defensive partner, Given Msimango, managed to keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw. However, miscommunication between the defense and goalkeeper Riyaard Pieterse led to a 2-1 defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns. Despite this setback, Ditlhokwe and Msimango redeemed themselves in subsequent matches, guiding Chiefs to a 3-0 victory against TS Galaxy and a 2-0 win against Stellenbosch.

The Impact of Coaching Changes:

Chiefs’ frequent changes in coaching staff can potentially affect Ditlhokwe’s performance and place in the team. The departure of Coach Molefi Ntseki, who had shown faith in Ditlhokwe, raised questions about whether the new coach would retain him as a regular starter. The arrival of Cavin Johnson as the interim coach saw Ditlhokwe maintain his place in the starting lineup, but the team continued to struggle defensively, conceding goals in matches against Golden Arrows and Cape Town City.

The Need for Consistency:

Ditlhokwe’s consistent presence in the starting lineup is commendable, but he must not become complacent. As competition for accolades and starting positions intensifies, he needs to work even harder to improve the team’s defensive record. Chiefs’ recent signing of his former Supersport United teammate adds further competition for the starting berth, making it crucial for Ditlhokwe to maintain his high level of performance.


Thatayaone Ditlhokwe’s journey at Kaizer Chiefs has been impressive, with his consistent performances earning him a regular place in the starting lineup. However, he must avoid complacency and continue to work hard to improve the team’s defensive record. The frequent changes in coaching staff at Chiefs add an element of uncertainty, making it essential for Ditlhokwe to prove himself to each new coach. By remaining focused and dedicated, Ditlhokwe can solidify his position in the team and contribute to the success of Amakhosi.








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BOBA battles turbulences to prime Boxing

5th December 2023

The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) recently organized a successful Boxing National Championships, sponsored by Maun Quarries and Tau Grading, with a generous amount of P100,000. This financial support is a welcome development for the boxing fraternity, as it has been almost a decade since such a windfall was received. The championships showcased the incredible skills of boxers like Mmusi Tswiigi, who achieved a remarkable victory by Referee Stop Contest (RSC). However, despite this success, BOBA acknowledges the need to improve and participate in international competitions to increase the chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

National Championships Success:

The Boxing National Championships witnessed outstanding performances from various boxers. Mmusi Tswiigi’s victory by RSC highlighted his exceptional skills and determination. Other notable performers included Rajab Mahommed, Maxwell Sechi, Thabang Chakalisa, Kerapetse Segole, Joel Kgogobi, Botshelo Thomologo, Otsile Mogobye, Mompoloki Sebula, Kenaope Boifang, Solomon Motshwarakgole, Keamogetse Kenosi, and Tshephang Moilwa. These boxers demonstrated their talent and dedication, bringing pride to the nation.

The Road to the Olympics:

Despite the success at the National Championships, BOBA Secretary General, Taolo Tlouetsile, acknowledges that more needs to be done to secure a spot at the Paris Olympics. Tlouetsile emphasizes the importance of international exposure for local boxers to gauge their readiness for such competitions. He recognizes that the opponents in international competitions are more active and challenging, making it crucial for local boxers to participate in various international events.

Challenges Faced:

The local pugilists faced difficulties during the Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifiers held in Senegal. Most of the boxers were eliminated in the preliminary rounds, with only Keamogetse Kenosi making it to the quarterfinals. The lack of preparation due to financial constraints hindered their performance. The absence of training camps and exposure to international competitions affected their readiness and ability to compete at the highest level.

Upcoming Qualifiers:

To secure a place at the Paris Olympics, local boxers must now focus on the upcoming qualification tournaments. The 1st World Qualification Tournament is scheduled to take place in Busto Arsizio, Italy, from 29 February to 12 March 2024, followed by the 2nd World Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, from 23 May to 3 June 2024. These tournaments provide another opportunity for local boxers to showcase their skills and qualify for the Olympics.

The Way Forward:

BOBA National Team Coach, Thebe Setlalekgosi, acknowledges the talent of the boxers but highlights the financial constraints that have hindered their progress. Setlalekgosi emphasizes the need for proper training camps to prepare the team adequately. He expresses his disappointment at missing the International Boxing Association (IBA) Junior World Championships, which could have served as valuable preparation for future boxers. Setlalekgosi proposes a training camp from the first week of December until February to ensure the team is in top shape for the upcoming qualifiers.

The recent success of the Boxing National Championships sponsored by Maun Quarries and Tau Grading is a positive step for BOBA. However, the association recognizes the need for international exposure and participation to improve the chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics. Financial constraints have been a significant challenge, affecting the preparation and performance of local boxers. With upcoming qualification tournaments, it is crucial for BOBA to prioritize training camps and international competitions to give their boxers the best chance at success. By addressing these challenges, BOBA can pave the way for a brighter future in boxing and bring glory to Botswana on the Olympic stage.



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Mares 90 minutes WAFCON qualification

5th December 2023

Crunch time has arrived for the Mares, the women’s senior national team of Botswana, as they face a crucial encounter against Kenya, also known as the Harambee Starlets.

This match will determine their qualification for the WAFCON 2024 tournament, and the fate of the Mares hangs in the balance. Under the guidance of their new coach, Alex Malete, the team carries a slight advantage with an away goal from the first leg.

Adding to their confidence, the Mares received a major boost with the inclusion of newly appointed Zebras head coach, Didier Gomes Da Rosa, in their technical team. Da Rosa’s appointment as the Director of Football for all national teams, including the women’s team, shows the commitment of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to support the growth and development of women’s football in the country.

The history between these two teams is not extensive, with only two previous encounters. The last match took place in 2015 during the 2016 Olympic qualifiers. The Mares won the first leg 2-1 but lost the second leg 1-0, resulting in the Harambee Starlets advancing to the next round based on aggregate score.

Both teams have their sights set on making their second appearance in the WAFCON tournament. The Harambee Starlets made their debut in the 2016 edition held in Cameroon, and now they aim to secure their next appearance. Similarly, the Mares are eager to make their mark and showcase their progress since their last participation.

In the first leg of this crucial tie, the Mares faced early attacks from the home side but found their rhythm midway through the first half. Keitumetse Dithebe, an attacker from Gaborone United, broke the deadlock with a goal in the 37th minute. However, the Harambee Starlets quickly responded with a penalty kick just before halftime, leveling the score. The second half saw sustained attacks from the Kenyan side, but the Mares held firm at the back, ensuring the match ended in a stalemate.

The Mares can rely on the experience and skill of players like Refilwe Tholakele and Sedilame Bosija, who recently won the CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns. Tholakele, awarded the Golden Boot, played a pivotal role in her team’s historic triumph, scoring two goals in the final. Her success highlights the significance of her contribution to the Mares’ campaign.

As the Mares head into this crucial clash, they must draw on their collective strength and determination. The opportunity to qualify for WAFCON 2024 is within their grasp, and they must seize it. With the support of their coach, the inclusion of Da Rosa in the technical team, and the talent of their players, the Mares have the potential to rewrite their own history and make a lasting impact on women’s football in Botswana.


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