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Communication gremlins delay AYG preparations

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CALM DOWN...BNOC CEO Tuelo Serufho Source:The Midweek Sun

Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) is reported to have left sport codes in the lurch this past week when they sought assistance to prepare for the Africa Youth Games (AFG) billed for July 19th in Algeria.

With only two weeks left before the games, BNOC is alleged to have told all sporting codes that preparatory games towards the AYG should be put on hold pending a final decision from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) committing to budgetary issues. This meant that all codes that had planned preparatory activities for the weekend had to cancel.

The announcement caught some sport codes off guard as some of them intended to travel across borders. According to sources in some codes that have been affected, the communication between associations and the BNOC was poor. They argued that BNOC never bothered to alert them on the challenges they were facing with the Ministry.  Instead they did not communicate well in time.

“We were shocked to receive news to stop with the preparations yet some of us were already in Gaborone because not all of us reside in town,” said the concerned source. According to the source, the situation inconvenienced their plans as they were left without answers and they found it hard to explain to the affected athletes. More to that, the teams are made up of school going children and some of them were forced to miss classes while preparing for trips that never happened.

Reached for comment, BNOC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho conceded that they experienced delays on their side. However, he said all pending logistics have been sorted, “Preparations will go on as scheduled, we have made minor adjustments and I can confidently confirm that some codes have travelled to South Africa early this week while some will depart during the week,” Serufho said.

Serufho said the BNOC   is hoping that no permanent damage was done given that the delay was for a day or two. He revealed that the final team list heading to Algeria would be finalised and announced tomorrow (Thursday).

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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