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Local fencing continues to grow

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 Botswana Amateur Fencing Association (BAFS) joined in the world fencing day celebrations in Gaborone this past weekend. The combat sport association has been in Botswana for a number of years but it only came to prominence during the 2014 African Youth Games. The popular Olympic sport has three different styles including foil, sabre and epee.

Nevertheless BAFS has recently been in the media for the wrong reasons following an internal rift within its committee. Despite several hiccups the association managed to send some players to Senegal for about a year to further sword-fighting skills. According to BAFS vice president Matla Basha, the association’s main objective was to take fencing to the public and also to create awareness.

“Batswana love the sport, we have financial challenges to spread the sport and train more people,” Basha said. Currently BAFS has only four athletes with approved international fencing federation attire for top competitions. Thabile Pilane, Karabo Thobega, Botlhe Tapologo and Aobakwe Modise benefitted garb from the 2014 African Youth Game hosted in Gaborone. The association has only three masters and one coach. The masters are Thobega, Modise, Sam Chape and Thato Mpoloka. BAFS grant from the Botswana National Sports Commission currently stands at P150 000.

Matla lamented that lack of funds force them to pull out of invitation tournaments outside the country. The sport of Fencing traces its origins to the development of swordsmanship for duels and self-defence. Meanwhile BAFS president Mandela Masuku recently survived a coup by disgruntled former president Gaolatwe Mudongo. The Masuku group was recently hit hard when the treasurer Gosego Nkwe resigned from his position.

It is not clear whether add member Bashi Lechaena still serves in the committee, Sun Sport is informed that he is yet to face disciplinary action after attending a meeting organised by the renegades. The committee comprises vice president Matla Basha, Secretary General Letlhogonolo Ramosesane, technical director Samuel Chape, and Treasurer Koketso Masena. BAFS will host their first annual TX fencing on Saturday at BOKA dojo.

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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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