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Bogatsu: A rising Taekwondo star



THE MASTER: Oarabile is a Taekwando star

Oarabile Bogatsu of Botswana Taekwondo Federation had to battle racism when studying in Malaysia for him to become one of the finest Taekwondo athletes in Botswana. Being an aspiring black athlete based in a foreign country back in 2008 seemed more like a curse than a blessing to him.

Today he proudly lifts his 3rd Dan Black Belt and chases the Grandmaster title. He might just become the first grandmaster to ever come out of Botswana given his deep desire and ambition.
The 30 year- old Bogatsu fell in love with Taekwondo for the very first time when he was studying Software Engineering in Malaysia.

“I tried Karate but it was not exciting enough for me until one day when I walked out of class and saw Taekwondo athletes flying everywhere, I was instantly hooked,” Bogatsu said.Bogatsu fell straight into the blessed hands of Master Tony Lee.

Lee as Bogatsu describes him was such a pain; well at least in a caring and sweet manner. He pushed him to be what he never thought he would become, an athlete of repute. “He was not one for many words, his question was if I really wanted to be a champion, my response to that is what changed my life forever,” Bogatsu said.

A few months down the line Bogatsu won gold during his maiden Malaysian University Taekwondo Championships. It was a scary affair as he was fighting athletes from different countries. Since then he never backed down, with his lips strongly pressed together, he held firmly to the championship title for three consecutive years since 2008.

Dethroning the Malaysian national team champion, who was highly praised in his home country, was enough to send a strong signal that he also, was equally capable. However, it had to take another round of convincing results for him to be considered capable.

“I remember defeating one Asian athlete who failed to accept that he was defeated by a black person. He went all racist on me and it left me deeply hurt,” Bogatsu said.It did not only end there, at times, when he stepped into the elevator, they will all go out leaving him to use the elevator alone.

“They at one point got used to the idea of Africans because during my time, there were only a few of us there,” he said.Bogatsu returned to Botswana in 2012 and continued his journey with coach Gladys Njoroge.

He continued to dominate under her coaching style, winning against the likes of Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa. He now sits in the executive committee of Taekwondo Botswana as Secretary General.

The ambitious Bogatsu took a break from active fighting this year and will be returning to the ring in full swing next year. He has five more stages to reach before he finally becomes a grandmaster.

“No matter how long it takes I will attain that grandmaster title, that is my ultimate goal,” Bogatsu said. His greatest achievement will be sharing the ring with Korean athlete, Lee D

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Netball regresses



When successfully hosting of the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) this past year under the Tebogo Lebotse Sebego regime, Botswana netball team (Under 21) showcased a crème dela cream squad, boasting exceptional players such as Pearl Maribe, Sarona Hans, Florence Poane and Cheludo David, just to mention a few.

This left many people anticipating for a smooth transition to the senior team and continue with their impressive performances at elite stages. However, this has not been the case as the national team has been performing dismally, failing to book a spot at the 2018 Africa Netball World Cup back in August, which will be hosted in England, Liverpool next year.

Prior the 2018 Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers staged in Zambia, Botswana roped in a mentor from South Africa, Dorette Badenhorst who confidently said in an interview with Sun Sport before departing to Zambia with team, that the team was in good shape. The results, however did not show and the coach was gone.

In an interview with Sun Sport this week, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Theresa Hirchfeld explained why the international coach (Badenhorst) left immediately after the qualifiers, “We had no money to hire an international coach but we desperately needed one hence Spar came to our rescue to bring Dorette Badenhorst on board to help us specifically qualify for the 2019 Netball World Cup edition.

We had to part ways with her because we did not have funds to continue with her,” she explained. According to BONA PRO, the continued absence of the domestic league can be pointed as the main reason why the national team has not been performing well recently, “We do not have a league running at the moment, hence resorting to meeting only on weekends in preparation for important tournaments.

However, I think we did fairly well at the just ended Diamond Challenge tournament held in South Africa looking at the fact that we were not able to go with our full squad due to Police Department events that hindered the selection of players from the Police side,” said the BONA PRO.

The 2018 Diamond Challenge Netball tournament in South Africa, Limpopo was played by Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa’s president XII. The local team did not fare well as they lost most of the games they played, but only managed to salvage one consolation win.

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Knockout Football tournament returns



The thrills, spills and high stakes of knock out football have returned to the local scene following the announcement of the new Orange FA Cup.

The mobile telecommunication company announced a P12.6 million, three-year deal that will see over 30 teams competing for the first prize of P700 000.After years of FA cup drought since the much-loved Coca Cola cup, 48 teams from the BTC Premiership, Debswana National First Division (DNFD) and regions are expected to slug it out for honour and glory in the newly introduced tournament scheduled for 2019. Addressing members of the media and other football stakeholders in Gaborone this week, BFA President Maclean Letshwiti said sponsorship remains a challenge to local football and other sporting codes.

“I am excited that the regions will finally get a platform to have an event which they can look forward to, with the prospect of generating income,” Letshwiti said. “Sponsorship is key to football as this is how our industry can grow and change the lives of footballers. When we crafted this sponsorship, we wanted an arrangement that can assist regional teams.” Letshwiti said Orange Botswana is no stranger to football as the company has been in football before and they are currently proud sponsors of CAF.

“A platform like the FA Cup offers a great -opportunity for all our league and structure to be scouted and seen by national team coaches across the board. We also now get an opportunity to close the gap between our leagues and increase competition for participation or qualification into the cup.”

Speaking during the same occasion, the Orange Botswana Chief Executive Officer Dr Patrick Benon said the sponsorship will be approximately P4.2 million per football season for a total of three seasons.

“This initiative demonstrates Orange Botswana’s strategy to cultivate talent and support local sports development in line with previous sponsorships like the Kabelano Charity Cup, the Orange Phikwe National Marathon and also the official Zebras National team sponsorship ahead of the historic appearance at the AFCON finals in 2012,” he said. Through these sponsorships, Benon said they have realised the significance of sport activities beyond entertainment.

“It is also about uniting communities, strengthening relationships and supporting activities. The sponsorship by Orange will cover prize money, individual awards, team kits, tournament administration fees and travelling, to name a few.” The competitions will kick off with eight teams from both the DNFD north and south. The first round will also include 16 regional teams. The second round will include 16 winners from the first round and 16 BTC Premiership teams. The second round is expected to produce the last 16 teams who will proceed to the quarter finals.

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