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MALOPE CYCLING CHALLENGE RIDES ON KANYE TERRAIN

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GRAND TOUR: Kgosi Malope cycle challenge is here

The 2019 edition of the Kgosi Malope II cycling challenge organised by Tsosa Motse (NGO) and the technical partner, Cycle 4 Life will be held in Kanye this weekend.

It is the most exciting and yet toughest road race in Botswana, positioned to be a preparatory race for Cape Argus, international road cycling challenge which attracts more than 40,000 cycling enthusiasts to Cape Town South Africa. This is solely due to the Kanye village terrain which is similar to that of Cape Town with natural valleys and winding roads.

According to a statement from the organisers, the event consists of 110km, 60km, 30km & 5km fun ride with price money ranging from P750 to P3500. The main objective of this race is to raise funds for community development projects and other initiatives that promote patriotism, self – reliance, independence, promotion of culture & preservation of history among communities.

One of these projects, Mmalekwa Cemetery, a historical royal site in Kanye, has managed to raise P200,000.00 over the past 2 years. They have also managed to fund the formation of a new community cycling club, which is officially registered with the registrar of societies as well as donating P4,000.00 to the technical partners, Cycle4life to be passed on to a local disadvantaged beneficiary.

This cycling race is supported by Debswana Jwaneng Mine as the main sponsor since its inauguration. Others like Ktu express, Naftec, UCB timing, Kanye Adventist Hospital are also sponsors for the 2019 event.

The aim is to promote cycling, not only as sport for the elite but for everyone as a health & wellness, recreational and tourism activity. Despite challenge such as limited sponsorship, non-participation of the local authority, local casual’s low skill level etc, the idea is to position Kgosi Malope II cycling challenge as the epitome of road cycling across Africa & internationally by 2025.

“We are expecting more than 200 cyclists. It immensely benefits local businesses such as hospitality, food & beverages, equipment hire etc as well as jobs for the youth. The value and business spinoffs are endless,” read the statement.

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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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