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.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
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.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
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.”