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Local sports facilities are safe

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng says local stadiums are safe and they do not foresee any repeated life threatening incidents occurring during any sporting activity. Olopeng made the remark early this week in Gaborone during a media briefing. He strongly assured that the community should not fear attending football games or any other sporting activity hosted, this follows the recent death of a young woman during a music festival held in Gaborone at the national stadium.

The said lady is alleged to have died due to stampede; this has since aroused mixed feelings and high public disapproval over the level of security in stadiums with masses threatening to boycott events held in stadiums. Olopeng put the blame on the wrong behaviour of certain individuals who abused substances on the day.

“There is no need to worry, what transpired was a deliberate action by individuals who had their own agendas, I do not want to believe that as far as games are concerned, we shall encounter such problems,” he said. Olopeng said investigations are still ongoing as to what really led to the tragedy and today (Wednesday) the cabinet is expected to discuss the way forward in order to prevent repetition of the incident.

He said the government has decided to allow ongoing of all the planned activities until December 2017 while they are still deciding on how best to deal with the matter. He however warned that should the unpleasant tendency persist, the government will not shy away from putting everything on hold until they upgrade the security and redo everything afresh. Asked about the current state of the stadium, he said the national stadium is not in good state and very much damaged with many broken bottles on the pitch as well as damaged windows, chairs and drainages.

Olopeng added that the national stadium was refurbished in 2010, with that, they have full confidence in that the stadium’s current standard does not put anybody at risk should any life threatening situations arise. On the other hand, the Premier League games are scheduled to begin on 25th September 2017 and according to the Botswana Premier League (BPL) fixtures, no game will be played at the national stadium for the first four weeks.

Furthermore there is worry within the local football fraternity that while the matter is still being investigated, majority are at risk of being attacked, robbed or raped especially during night games. “Batswana should not be disturbed, we have measures put in place to guard against such instances and we can assure that we will reinforce security to ensure maximum safety during play offs,” said BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang in an interview.

Ntshinogang said his office will be up on its toes to ensure that they avoid issues of overcrowding leading to stampedes, we are aware of the stadiums sitting capacities and we shall continue protecting the welfare of all our supporters and even players,” said Ntshinogang.

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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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