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AUSC-R 5 overshadows Bots Games

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The Minister of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng this week said the 2017 Botswana Games will be a drill for the upcoming 2018 AUCSR 5 regional show piece. Olopeng was speaking during the launch of the 2017 Botswana Games in Gaborone on Tuesday this week. Addressing members of the media and sports affiliates, Olopeng said the Botswana Games are slated for December and will be part of the preparations for the 2018 African Union Sports Council Region 5 games (AUCSR) games slated for Gaborone.

The popular Botswana Games pitting different districts against one another will be a precusor to the regional games formerly known as Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA). Olopeng said the multisport showpiece will go a long way in preparing Botswana to host the regional spectacle, which is expected to attract all the SADC countries. Moreover, Olopeng emphasized the need to take sports seriously in the country, adding that there is a need for professionalism in the industry. “The time is now for us to professionalise sports, we cannot afford to be amateurs for the rest of our lives,”Olopeng said.

According to the Minister, the Olympic type of games deserve high mileage in advertising in order to attract the private sector. Olopeng said private companies have to be lured into partnership with government for such auspicious events in the sporting calendar. Olopeng reiterated the need to take sports seriously and develop careers out of the industry.“There are a lot of sports personalities who have used sport to turn their lives around. These athletes have used incentives and opportunities to launch sports careers both locally and internationally to improve their lives. It is important for upcoming athletes to follow suit,” he stressed.

Botswana Games,which have been growing steadily over the years are aimed at school going and out of school athletes. The games have over the years attracted young athletes from all corners of the country and pitted them against each other in fourteen sporting codes. Some of the popular athletes that have emerged from the Botswana Games includes the likes of Karabo Sibanda, Baboloki Thebe, Galefele Moroko and Boifang Kenaope.

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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