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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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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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