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.
Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure
Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.
Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.
Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.
The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.
“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.
The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.
BFA FIRES BRIGHT
Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.
At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.
According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.
Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.
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