South African superstar sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk and middle-distance heroine Caster Semenya may be on their way to local shores. The 2018 Gaborone International Meet (GIM) Local Organising Committee (LOC) is currently hatching a plan to bring the high profile duo to compete before local track and field supporters. Preparations for the eagerly anticipated 2018 GIM are well underway.
According to the event organiser Glody Dube, the ambitious LOC is going all out to bring a world-class track and field event to Gaborone. Dube was speaking to Sun Sport recently in an interview. “Semenya has already shown interest and our negotiations are at an advanced stage, Van Niekerk on the other hand is yet to respond, we are in talks with his manager,” said an optimistic Dube. According to Dube, the aim is to dazzle local track and field supporters with star power and the aura surrounding the two world champions who recently conquered the IAAF World championships in London.
“Batswana admire these athletes when watching them on television but have never had the opportunity to actually see them live during a track and field event,” he said. Hosting famous athletes like Van Nerikek and Semenya comes at a huge cost including travel expenses and appearance fees. However they LOL are currently running without a title sponsor. “We cannot solely run the event with amateurs, we need to popularise the event as much as possible or else we will lack mileage,” he said.
Quizzed on the how far they were with securing a sponsors progress on securing a title sponsor, Dube said, “We are moving in the right direction and some companies have shown interest in partnering with us.” Nevertheless, he expressed delight over interest from South African SuperSport Television Channel who has shown interest in broadcasting the event live.The former 800m runner and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) administrator said they also expect the participation of star athletes including 800m runner Nijel Amos, 400m sprinter Isaac Makwala, 400m ladies side of Amantle Montsho and Lydia Jele. During the GIM LOC planning workshop held recently in Gaborone, Keenese Katisenge serving as head of Sales and Marketing said they want to fill up the stadium, “We are targeting 20 000 spectators.” Katisenge said they needed to close all the gaps in order to organise an entertaining show.
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.”