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Malesu unveils his BNOC roadmap

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Former Botswana Football Association (BFA) CEO Ookeditse Malesu says if elected Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) president, he will ensure that elite athletes are given the dignity they deserve during and after competitions. Malesu said this when launching his manifesto to different BNOC affiliates earlier this week in Gaborone. As one of his biggest concerns, Malesu said local athletes are often overlooked despite having gone all out to represent the country. He said a number of prominent local athletes recently told him that they are often neglected after national team camp.

“The athletes return to their respective homes, these poor lads are left with nobody to take care of them, they struggle alone either psychologically or nursing physical injuries,” he said.The optimistic Malesu said the future of local sports is in their hands as sports leaders and they need to drive athletes to excellence. He said Botswana is currently sitting on talent and they need to reinforce measures.

“We need to have an organised athletes’ village where everything will be set up, not to run with local lodges everytime,” he suggested. His aim is to ensure that sports talent does not hit the floor on their watch, “We have the likes of 800m runner Nigel Amos, he is the first Motswana to bring us a silver medal from the Olympics and so far the last. We need to assist such gifted athletes maintain their performances.”

He added that in order for sports to develop locally, they need a collective effort from different sporting codes. This he said, will make the government understand what they intend to do and hopefully be able to attract sponsorships. “Our athletes are busy roaming the streets let us create jobs for them and tap into available opportunities that will bring us more funding,” Malesu said.

Former Africa Karate Champion Thabiso Maretlwaneng said Malesu helped him grow as an athlete. He said during Malesu’s tenure as Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president, he was inspired to become the country’s finest.“His mentorship and leadership skills ensured that we are capable of competing against the very best in the world,” he said. Former Director of Gender Affairs and also IWG Vice Chairperson Valencia Mogegeh described Malesu as an independent thinker, visionary and disciplined.

“He will only endorse things that speak to his conscience; he is an honest and credible leader who has integrity. He is a man of his words, it is very important to have people who will not bend based on the direction in which the wind is blowing,” she advised.Malesu lost to the incumbent president Negroes Kgosietsile four years ago and is currently vying for the top seat against four other powerful candidates in France Mabiletsa, Daniel Molaodi, Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego and Botsang Tshenyego.

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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