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Wheelchair basketball tourney for Gabs

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The Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) Disability Committee in conjunction with the University of Botswana will on the 25th November host the 2017 Malebogo “Max” wheelchair basketball tournament at the University of Botswana Basketball Courts. The wheel chair basketball tournament aims at raising awareness on Gender Based Violence during the commemorative 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence on Women and Children.

The participating teams are Diamond Wheelers Basketball team and South East District Disability Sports Association, the sponsors and the media team. The games are expected to start from 4pm until 9pm. During a media briefing held in Gaborone yesterday, Malebogo Molefhe said as a victim of Gender based violence, they want to use basketball as a tool for raising awareness on issues of domestic violence in the country. Molefhe who escaped death in 2009 after her boyfriend shot her 8 times said she was once a national basketball player, however since her tragic incident, she has been using a wheelchair due to her spinal cord injuries.

Through the tournament, she is determined to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children in Botswana by spreading the message through sport. The tournament will also strive to encourage active participation in sports for students and communities including those living with disabilities. “Wheelchair Basketball is not visible in Botswana and it is our hope that this tournament will expose it to the community and inspire other people with disabilities to engage in sports,” she said. On behalf of the BBA Disability Committee, the chairperson, Lesley Baleseng said there will be stalls at the courts from 1600hrs where people will get to interact with one another, get advice and share experiences on how to do away with issues of gender based violence on women and children.

Baleseng said there will be sign language interpretations for deaf people on the day saying they take pride in hosting sports events that empower people living with disabilities. He pleaded with the community to support the event in large numbers. “We need the community to support those living with disabilities rather them discriminating and isolating them, if we do that then we are off to good beginnings,” he said.

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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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