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BPC powers cycle race

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The Botswana Power Cooperation (BPC) has sponsored the 2017 BPC Otse _ Kanye Cycling Challenge with a massive P155 000. The sponsorship deal was launched early this week in Gaborone. The race will begin and end in Mogobane Village on the 12th November 2017. Announcing the sponsorship deal to their partners Tsela Riders Cycling Club, BPC spokesperson Dineo Seleke said BPC will be sponsoring the cycling challenge for three years and they shall add 10 percent to the P155 000 for the remaining two years.

“For the upcoming two years we shall be giving out P155 000 plus an additional 10 percent on top, meaning we would have invested over P500 000 by the end of the three year period,” she explained. Through the partnership, Seleke said BPC hopes to assist develop young and female cyclists to also create room for luring in potential investors. “ As mentioned earlier the race route has an eye catching nature view, we can use that to our advantage and maybe be able to develop the place with time.”

She said they want nothing more than turning the club youth team into professional riders in the near future. Seleke said she had absolute confidence in that at the end of the three year deal, they we would have recruited more youth and riders. In addition, Seleke said that there is a possibility of renewing the deal because they are proud to be associated with the club and hope for a beautiful marriage.

On behalf of Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) Tlamelo Dube said they are busy at work to ensure that women develop interest in Cycling. He challenged the Club to ensure that they use part of the sponsorship mainly to develop female athletes, saying the current involvement of women in the sport is worrisome. Dube applauded BPC for their efforts noting that the partnership will be put to good use and as the mother body, they will be providing the necessary support to ensure a successful event.

The International working group on women and sport (IWG) Secretary Game Mothibi gave BCA a pat on the shoulder for recognizing women in sports. Moreover, Mothibi said the BCA has to vigorously ensure that there will be participation of women at the competition. Mothibi advised that women should be encouraged to ride for fun and fitness, “ I urge you Tsela riders to make Gaborone a busy and fitness centre. We want to see a holistic programme that covers both men and women,” she said.Registration is still on for the 120 and 60km race. Last year’s tournament was won by Oabile Tingwane in the 120km junior boys category. Bernardo Aysu won the Elite category.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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