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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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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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