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Fencing in anti-climax year finale

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The troubled Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS) held its national championships in Gaborone this past weekend. The championships marked the end of the tumultuous 2017 calendar for the fairly new sport code. BAFS has had its fair share of controversy this year with a divided committee that spilled over to affect affiliates.

Nevertheless, the last BAFS event of the year dished out some entertaining duels. One of the most entertaining matches featured the 2014 Africa youth games athletes being Aobakwe Modise and Thabile Pilane. The two athletes met in at BAFS senior women finals. The senior women epee category was an entertaining student vs. Master duel were Aobakwe Modise against her apprentice Thabile Pilane.

The student versus teacher clash saw Modise emerge as winner against Pilane who is also her teammate. Modise who is among the three local fencing masters locally proved to be a level above her opponent. “I still want to play as opposed to coaching. I want to be an Olympian,” said the ambitious Modise. Pilane lost the match 16-15, though she defeated her master 5-3 during the pool stage.

“We always give each other competition. I am hoping to do well in the future,” explained the 2014 Africa Youth Games quarter finalist. Pilane is positive that she will soon become a master by beating her mentor. Boikobo Nkwe got a gold medal without competing due to shortage of competitors. “I was playing against boys, I think I did very well though I lost all games,” said Nkwe.

The 20 year old Tlokweng based athlete expressed disappointment over winning gold after failing to get an opponent. Chape confirmed that Boikobo walked through to the finals because she did not have opponents on the day. Meanwhile BAFS technical director Stan Chape said the tournament went well even though attendance was poor on the day.

Moreover Chape explained that internal politics at BAFS affected their calendar of events negatively as BNSC suspended their activities at one point. “We were placed on hold by BNSC for some time due to unforeseen circumstances, this is our second tournament this year,” explained the BAFS TD. Chape is however hopeful that they will have another tournament before the end of the year.

BAFS has about seven affiliated clubs, mostly academies and schools. Fencing has four age categories, which includes the Benjamins aged between 7-9 years, the Cadets aged 9-14 years, the 15-19 category is known as juniors and the seniors from 20-39 years old. According to Chape, the BAFS plans to add a veteran’s category in the future which will include adults from 40 year plus.

Chape, Karabo Thobega and Modise are the only trained officials to umpire and coach fencing sport. The three were sent for training in Senegal a few years ago. BAFS rank athletes before considering them for national team. The tournament winner gains 8 points, silver medallist 6, position 3 and 4 gain 4 points apiece.

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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