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Cycling fails to charm women

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Johnmol Cycling Club founder Karabo Moletsana says most women seem disinterested in joining the cycling sport. Out of 28 athletes found in his club, only four are women. Moletsana was speaking on the side -lines of a new partnership deal between Johnmol Club and a locally based auditing firm (KPMG) recently. KPMG has offered to sponsor a youth development team from Johnmol Cycling Club and all four of them are male. KPMG will be paying for meals, transportation and registration fees, for the four young cyclists.

The athletes are expected to compete in a road and mountain biking events throughout Botswana and across the region. The sponsorship deal will last a year. The cyclists are Kopano Kgosibodiba (18), Letlamoreng (17), Kitso Moseki (15) and Matlhogonolo Bolokwe (17). Moletsana said during their selection processes for the beneficiaries of the sponsorship, they could not find any suitable and dedicated women cyclists. He said the situation was worsened by the fact that his club is male dominated. Moletsane lamented their struggle to get women to be active in cycling adding that even the four found in his club are not consistent at all. Nevertheless, he expressed hope that they will be looking to recruit more females to the club so that they can at least compliment each other.

“They need competition so that they can move away from their comfort zones and have motive to bring out their talents,” he said. One of the reasons he cited for having a low female turn out was that women perceive cycling as a dangerous and physically demanding sport. According to Moletsane, the majority of women distance themselves over fear of falling off the bike especially during mountain biking. Senior Consultant with KPMG Alexander Moss said he was aware that there are groups of female cyclists out there and its one of their areas of focus at their firm.

Moss said they would soon have talks with clubs because their intention is to also sponsor a junior female team in the future. Reached for comment, Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) president Mmetla Masire said they are disturbed by the low female participation in cycling. In terms of competitive cycling, only a quarter of the cyclists are females, at administrative level there is only one female representative. Masire explained that it is sad because women are forced to pull out because of different reasons ranging from safety and men intimidation.

“Women do not feel comfortable cycling alone, they fear being hit by cars or even being attacked by criminals. Nevertheless we are working around the clock to give them the necessary assurance that their lives will not be compromised,” he said. The BCA president revealed that they have now set the ball rolling and currently BCA youth structures have been witnessing the rise of young girls showing interest in cycling. For her part, the only lady found in the current BCA Executive Committee Game Mompe who is also from Tsela Riders Cycling club said cycling is an emerging sport in Botswana however women are slowly developing interest and accepting it as a fun sport. She explained that women are normally not active in sports because of their motherly duties they are tasked with in their homes. “We have over 10 women cyclists at Tsela Riders and I can assure that that number will rise with time,” Mompe 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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