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Phikwe Volleyball team collapses

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The relocating of Selibe Phikwe ladies Volleyball Club coach from Phikwe to Kang has since collapsed the club. In fact, the team has moved swiftly to withdraw from the second round of the ongoing Mascom Volleyball league.

The former coach Makgetla Gareanna told this publication this week that the club collapsed due to lack of commitment by members. He said none wanted to take the responsibility of the team hence the outcome.

“Everything was there, money and transport but they never made it to the second round, my departure did not come as a surprise, I informed all that I will be relocating,” Gareanna said. Asked if the team had no assistant coach to take over, Gareanna said that he was assisted by a volunteer who could not be trusted with the full responsibility of the team because of his young age.

He explained that his team was made up of school going players and the assistant was in no position to reason with the school authorities to release the players. The shattered coach said he loved his players and saw potential in them, however it was now beyond his control. “If all goes well, I will form a volleyball team this side and see what Kgalagadi has in store for me,” he said. For his part, Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) Development Officer Peaceful Seleka confirmed that indeed SVC has withdrawn from the league. He said that the Phikwe based club explained that they could not continue with the league and asked to be excused. Seleka said that it was unfortunate that a team easily crumbled because the coach was transferred elsewhere. He said this went a long way to expose that the support system was not enough in Phikwe.

“They often missed games; we tried our level best to retain them in the league however it soon became evident that the team could not function anymore,” he said. Seleka added that it did not help that the team Secretary Onalenna Nare was also transferred to Serowe saying the team needs regrouping to survive.

Meanwhile,Mag Stimela are leading the ladies league log with 34 points while Yaros limp at the bottom with only 9 points. The army men of BDF VI are dominating the men’s side with 46 points while the Desert Kings are yet to win a game and languishing at the bottom with 16 points.

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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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