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Centres of Excellence neglected

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Lack of coordination between the Ministry of Youth, Empowerment Sports and Culture (MYESCD), Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and the Ministry of Basic Education (MBE) has led to the dysfunction of Centres of Excellence (CoE). This was revealed this past weekend during the Sports Pitso in Palapye. Presenting on the Centres of Excellence, BAA president Thari Mooketsi said the initiative was good but the problem is implementation. Mooketsi said it was important to invite the Ministry of Education so they could have an input on the matter. Some of the CoE include Goodhope, Mogoditshane and Masunga secondary schools. “Students that have been sent to CoEs can stay up to two years without uniform or training equipment.

I don’t know how monitoring and the budget is done,” Mooketsi said when addressing stakeholders including Sports minister Thapelo Olopeng and BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng. The BAA president said his Association is tasked with facilitating the CoE. “These children are special and they are taken from other places. There have specific dietary requirements as opposed to eating samp like everyone else. As for sports equipment, its either it is not there or in a questionable state,” he said. Mooketsi suggested that the program be halted temporarily while a task force is formed to look into the matter. Mooketsi further inquired whether boys will not be allowed at Good Hope secondary school, which is the CoE for athletics.

“This may disturb our plans. “ Moreover, Mooketsi touched on the Debswana Mining Company sponsored ‘Re ba bona ha’ (RBH) talent identification program. Mooketsi said RBH is a BNSC program but sports associations have limited information on the matter. “The Sports Development Officers (SDO) are the ones that player a bigger role on the program that associations. We are just approached to sign off the program.” In addition, Mooketsi argued that they have limited information regarding the Zebras athletes fund as only BNSC and the Botswana National Olympic Committee are know better. Mooketsi who represented all the affiliates expressed concern over the number of children that are transfer to CoE.

“You will find that out of 10 children that are transferred to Goodhope, only two are able to compete at Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) competitions. Maybe every zone needs CoE so that athletes are well distributed around the country.” In response, the Minister of Sports Thapelo Olopeng said at this point it seemed like they were trying to comply the CoE policy. “We can choose 3-4 people to look into the report and submit it in two months. The committee will look into the MYESCD and MBE issue. I will be able to consult my colleague at MBE,”Olopeng said when suggesting a resolution.

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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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