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World Chess President is in town

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President of World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsam Ilyumzhinov is expected to arrive in Botswana today (Wednesday). During his stay Illyumizhinov is scheduled to have a closed door meeting with the Minister of Basic Education Unity Dow this afternoon.

According to Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) president Mothokomedi Thabano, the President will table a proposal for chess to be included as part of the school curriculum in Botswana. Thabano said as BCF, they have full confidence in this new endeavour. “Should children learn chess at a tender age and while at primary school, they will be able to excel more in their academics,” he said.

“Currently chess is just an extra curriculum activity in Botswana but statistics have shown that it plays a pivotal role in sharpening the mind,” he said. In addition Thabano said the programme will assist in growing the sport locally. “At the same time it will instil creativity, patience and in-depth thinking in players.” Thabano took time to applaud the support BCF receives from the World Chess president.

The Russian and his association have been kind to the BCF having sponsored the local youth team with a lump sum of P121 000 ahead of the upcoming Africa Chess Championships scheduled for Zimbabwe from the 19th -27th August. Meanwhile the national chess team has been undergoing intensive training with Russian Grand Master (GM) Nikolai Chadaev for the past few weeks.

According to the BCF local team has been benefitting from the GM at absolutely no cost. “We are not paying him anything he is just assisting the team to ready for the tournament,” BCF spokesperson Kutlwano Tatolo had said in an earlier interview. Team Botswana will be looking to defend its title at the championships and will be represented by 19 athletes. Among the players, team Botswana has familiar faces including Women Candidate Master (WCM) Naledi Marape, Laone Moshoboro and Candidate Master (CM) Marape Marape.

The team will be accompanied by Fide Arbiter Keenese Katisenge. There will also be International Organiser (IO) Roger Tiroyamodimo, two team managers Mokwaledi Mokwadi and Kefilwe Ramphaleng. Botswana managed to return home with seven new titles and nine medals last year in Zambia.

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New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals

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Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest  soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.

Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.

Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.

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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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