The Botswana sports landscape is expected to change drastically this Saturday when the watershed, Botswana National Olympic Committee elects new leadership in Gaborone. As things stand, there is no clear favourite to succeed long time BNOC president Negroes Kgosietsile, who announced he would not be contesting for the seat this time around.
The five presidential candidates could not be more different, which makes the 2017 elections even more intriguing. Nevertheless, local sports industry observers and sports lovers at large have raised concerns over the unprecedented number of candidates standing for the BNOC executive committee elections. The eclectic candidates vying for the presidential seat include, Ookeditse Malesu. The former military man is the last candidate to enter the race. However, it did not come as a surprise after he lost to Kgosietsile in the last elections.
A no nonsense sports administrator, Malesu brings a lot of experience to his campaign. The ambitious sports administrator has worked for the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA), Botswana Swimming Sports Association (BSSA) and recently Malesu had a short spell at the Botswana Football Association. His multi sport code experience will come in handy against the tough competition.
On the other hand is Botsang Tshenyego, another military man who comes with a huge advantage. Tshenyego is an insider having served under Kgosietsile for the past few years. Tshenyego clearly has an advantage to succeed the outgoing president. He is clearly aware of the strings he needs to pull and the inner workings of the BNOC.
Another interesting candidate in the unpredictable race is Tebogo Lebotse Sebego, the current president of the Botswana Netball Association (BONA). Sebego was a rather shock addition to the race. She has also brought along a new angle to the race, as all of her compaigning team is women Sebego is a shrewd administrator and an over achiever who recently brought the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) to local shores. Sebego is buoyed by this great achievement going into the race.
Moreover, the shrewd sports leader who has led BONA for the better part of the past decade, knows how to pick a team that is built around her vision and goals. Former national team boxer and Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) hall of fame France Mabiletsa comes into the race with an impressive resume. In a recent interview with BG Sports, Mabiletsa outlined his plan for the BNOC and it was quite simply aligned to elite athletes with elite sports administrators.
Mabiletsa has been part of one of the most successful amateur boxing stables in the country, being UB/Tsholofelo boxing club for over a decade. Mabiletsa is also no stranger to the BNOC having been assigned as Chef de mission at one of the recent Commonwealth games. Mabiletsa believes that having been an athlete, a coach and a sports administrator gives him leverage over his competitors. Daniel Molaodi enters the race with another impeccable resume. Molaodi made his bones in the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF). For the past decade Molaodi has held a leadership position in the BVF as the sport code went from strength to strength. The BVF ran a successful league until recently, losing their league sponsor Mascom Wireless.
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.”