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Goulden leads GIM

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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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Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19

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Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.

Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.

“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.

Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.

“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.

Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year  for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having  already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.

“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”

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BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet

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Amidst wide spreading fears that Botswana’s top flight league might be canceled and considered null and void because of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has yet to make a determination on the matter and has in fact ruled out scrapping off the season altogether.

Local football observers and pundits alike have already started talking of the possibilities after similar considerations of nullifying their seasons were made in the leagues of other countries especially in Europe.  No football activity has taken place in the country since social distancing measures were imposed to avoid the spread of the corona virus.

Local football pundit Fabian Zulu is one of those who believe there is a likelihood the football season will be nullified. “If the current situation persists, then there is a high possibility of declaring the league null and void. This situation wasn’t planned, no one knew that by now we would be facing this kind of situation; so the possibility is very high.

However, in an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the association has not considered canceling and nullifying the season as an option yet, adding that “currently we are observing a period of extreme social distancing, the ministry  of health and wellness will obviously give advice on the possibility of getting back to football.”

Consequently the BFA still awaits the Ministry to declare that the risks of spreading the virus are reduced and come up with a contingency plan. “If the ministry says there is a reduced health risk we will play out the season; if they advise against it we will then see what steps to take. The health of our players is more important and we will be guided by the responsive authorities,” Mpatane remarked.

However, suspension or cancellation of the leagues across the world seems inevitable even as some European leagues, more specifically the English Premier League, are now contemplating a behind-closed-doors campaign to finish off the remaining matches.

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