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COPA Tourney receivees P800 000

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SIX FIGURE…BISA has been sponsored to run the COPA tourney Source:The Midweek Sun

Global soft drinks giant Coca Cola has sponsored the 2018 COPA Coca Cola soccer tournament at a whopping P800 000. The sponsorship announced this week in Radisele village is mainly   for procurement of soccer equipment such as balls and kits for players.

Speaking at the launch, the Assistant Minister of Basic Education Thato Kwerepe said the government remains the primary supporter of sports in schools, however efforts from private entities like Coca Cola are always commendable.

Addressing stakeholders and members of the press, Kwerepe said government alone cannot develop sports in the country and applauded sport associations who go out of their way to ensure the smooth running of school sport. The minister said the partnership between BISA and Coca Cola dates back to 2014 and the soft drinks company has since splashed over P3 million on the soccer tournament.

Kwerepe said the impact of the sponsorship has been felt in schools, adding that it was through the tournament that Botswana discovered renowned athletes such as Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele, Thato Kebue and Gorata Mogakolodi. For her part, Coca Cola Senior Brand Manager Tamar Mbalo said the soccer tournament has made an impressive mark on the lives of thousands secondary school pupils, their families and communities throughout Botswana.

She explained that the road has been a very successful one, which they are very proud to partake in. Mbalo said the tournament has managed to produce former senior national team players Jomo Bolofete and Noah Kareng who are now grooming young footballers locally. Furthermore, she explained that through the COPA Coca Cola tournament, they have been sowing seeds of football everywhere for the good of all. In addition, Mbalo said participants of the tournament have a chance to play in regional tournaments pencilled for later this year. “This development will see youth sharing experiences and bridging the gap between those in different countries and continents.

We continue to be proud sponsors of this initiative which is a long-term investment in our youth and the future,” she said.Speaking during the same occasion, BISA president Joshua Gaothobogwe  said they organise competitions for 12 sport codes, with that they need all the support they can possibly get. Gaothobogwe mentioned that currently BISA activities are 100 percent funded by the Ministry.” The BISA annual budget hovers around P10 million however we only get around P1 million from the ministry, this means most of our activities suffer,” he said.

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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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