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Goulden leads GIM



Former softball player and Debswana Mining Company Corporate Affairs Manager, Naledi Dikgomo- Goulden has taken over as the new Gaborone International Meet (GIM) Local Organising Committee Chairperson.

Goulden and her team were unveiled this past Tuesday in Gaborone. At the LOC launch, Goulden told this publication that they have already begun preparations for the 2019 GIM event.
The intention, she said is to ensure that they bring out a bigger and exciting event, “We have already strategized on how best to prepare for next year. We anticipate the GIM to grow from strength to strength annually and we can only achieve that if we start spreading our wings as early as now,” she said.

The optimistic Goulden noted that she is not intimidated by the fact that she is succeeding a male figure, the former chairman, Barulaganye Mogotsi. “I do not see myself as a woman because I know that I am equally capable of leading my team and achieving the desired results,” Goulden assured.During her term as the GIM boss for the next 12 months, her area of focus will be to ensure that they sell the event both locally and across borders. She noted that 2018 event was blessed with the presence of a few international athletes and they will have to double their efforts next year.

Still at the event, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYESCD) Mogomotsi Kaboyamodimo said that they remain committed to assisting any entity that aims to develop sports locally. He said such initiatives add to the success stories of Botswana sports.

He applauded the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) for their unwavering support towards the GIM, saying it is only through their support that local stars such as 800m runner Nigel Amos and Christene Botlogetswe of 400m continue to blossom at international level.

The 2019 GIM LOC also has Keenese Katisenge as head of Marketing, Bosenogile Mpiwa is in charge of finance and George Mokone Medical. Tshepo Kelaotswe for technical matters, Tshepang Othusitse heading operations while Calistus Kolantsho is the GIM spokesperson. Kitso Kemoeng adds to the list as the General Manager and Gabriel Ngele leading the project management & risk control area.

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Volleyball coach explains selection of national team



Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) national team coach Kabo Ntshinogang says winning a league performance award does not guarantee national team call up.

Ntshinogang was responding to complaints made by some players recently that the national team squad is decided on favoritism and not merit. To their surprise, some players that were honored for exceptional play in the 2018 Mascom league were missing from the preliminary national team list that was released by the federation recently. The national team is preparing for the All Africa games qualifiers to be held in Mozambique later this month.

“Yes it is true, not all who were honored by Mascom last year made it into the team. Winning an award does not book a seat in the national team, a lot of things go into being selected as national team material,” Ntshinogang said this week.

The coach in charge of the ladies’ team explained that in some instances, a player can score many points in one particular game while a more talented player might have been absent on the day.
That, he said could make other talented players fail to collect points and catch up, as every game is different.

“We use the league to gauge performance however, we can never all agree on who is best suited a place in the national team. Difference in opinions will always come in and perhaps provide a healthy debate,” the coach said.

Ntshinogang added that if he indeed used favoritism to pick his team then his side of Mafolofolo Club would be dominating the list. Nevertheless, Kutlwano players are the ones with a large number of players at national team level. On the men side, assistant coach Kealeboga Mmekwane said that contrary to negative reports he came across, Kesaobaka Lenkopane of BDF XI, who was the 2018 league best setter has been invited to training but has not showed up yet.

“He was omitted from the list yes but we have since contacted his coach that the player should join the national team during training,” he said. Mmekwane continued to note that another omitted name was Meffery Chindumbo who is a foreigner and could not be called for national team duty. He revealed that they look into matters such as height, skill and the defence ability when they select their preferred team.

He explained that it was hard picking names and they were forced to rely on past experiences. “There is no league and we had to think hard to come up with a competitive team,” he said. For their first training, Mmekwane noted that the players are all a bit rusty as they are returning from a long break, saying some have even gained weight. He however expressed confidence that they will qualify for the games as they have over the years established themselves as a powerhouse in the region.

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Marape increases Botswana’s medal tally



Women Fide Master (WFM) Naledi Marape dazzled at the just ended Zone 4.3 championships held in Madagascar. She brought home a bronze medal.

The 2019 edition was the young Marape’s second zonal competition having finished on 5th position in Mozambique last year. Nevertheless, she emerged all hell bent to leave an impressive mark in Madagascar as she defeated highly ranked players to increase Botswana ‘s medal tally.

Marape emulated winning ways of Women International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis who finished in second position, grabbing a silver medal. Francis returned to the Chessboard following a short break from the game, itching to defend her 2018 bronze medal. She would however go up the ranks and give way for the developing star that is Marape.

It seems Marape drew inspiration from the experienced side of Francis and rightly put her foot down. The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson Kutlwano Tatolo explained that Marape is actually chasing her first Olympiad appearance next year.

“She has been doing well and one of the best youth players, however, competition is very stiff and she will need to work extra hard to improve her game,” she said. Tatolo described Marape as a player still full of energy and thirsty for success saying her level of growth in the game was promising.

However, Marape began the year on a low note and actually lost out on forming part of the ten Metropolitan Championships ladies’ finalists, thus the urge to keep busy drove her to international excellence.

The BCF had sent only one female representative to Madagascar however, Marape and another youth side in Women Candidate Master (WCM) Natalie Banda sponsored themselves to attend the zonal competition. Banda, who was making a debut at the tournament, finished in an impressive 8th position and she was given a trophy for being the youngest participant at the tournament.

Meanwhile, Fide Master (FM) Phemelo Khetho who recently won the Metropolitan championship failed to defend his 2018 silver medal in the open section but instead dropped to position 13.
His counterpart International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse, finished on the 6th place.

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