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Softball umpiring clinic targets women

Irene Shone

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EMPOWERING…Women benefitted from softball umpiring clinic Source:The Midweek Sun

Twenty ladies across the country benefitted from the Softball ladies umpire clinic that was held in Gaborone last week.

The clinic was specifically meant to give ladies an opportunity to learn on their own without male counterparts. The participants were selected by BISA from all the four zones of the country, to ensure that they continue empowering others in their zones.

Umpire in chief at the Botswana Softball Association (BSA), Abel Mataboge said that the clinic came at an opportune time and expressed confidence that what they have learnt would reach the entire country, as they were eager to learn. “They gave their level best to get umpiring mechanics and systems right and I am optimistic that they would positively impact the sport and I hope that as softball we would be able to retain them,” he said.

He added that with softball back into the Olympics, it gives women athletes and women umpires a better chance to achieve every athlete’s dream, being part of Olympics games. “As a facilitator and WBSC accredited umpire who will be going to officiate women world championship end of July in China, Japan, I was really impressed by what the ladies’ passion. It is overwhelming and promising,” he said.

National Team Manager from BSA, Same Molete applauded the initiative. She highlighted that women are psychologically ready and all the players that were called to the camp turned up except for one.  “There is a sense of bonding and playing as one unit and technically they have shown a lot of improvement,” she said adding that this was all due to their commitment during the week’s proceedings at the camp,” said Molete.

Mataboge said their wish is to bring umpiring ratio to one woman out of every three umpires. He also highlighted that in order to improve in any given sporting code, there has to be professional officials. “There is no decent softball game without proper officials,” Mataboge said. The ladies were also trained on scoring, as a way of improving the quality of games and even those at lowest levels of the competition.

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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