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INF nominated for Sports industry award

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The International Netball Federation’s social media campaign for the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 has made the shortlist for the BT Sports Industry Awards 2018 Social Media Campaign of the Year. The BT Sport Industry Awards are the largest commercial sports awards in the world, celebrating the very best work from across the sector.

The Netball World Youth Cup, which is the pinnacle of netball competition for emerging players aged under 21, took place in Gaborone, Botswana last summer and was the first international INF event to be held in Africa. The “mobile first, content everywhere” social media campaign created and delivered by QTV Sports in conjunction with Botswana TV and Tsena Online, attracted two million views on Facebook, one million on TV, over half a million on YouTube and 55,000 on Twitter – making it the INF’s biggest online audience ever for a world netball event.

Nikki Richardson, Head of Communications for the INF, says: “We are thrilled to be short-listed for such a prestigious award. Our mission is to take netball to our fans in a way that is relevant, immediate and accessible to them and to showcase our sport to new followers all over the world. “The end-to-end digital content strategy enacted by QTV Sports at the Netball World Youth Cup certainly delivered, taking netball to the widest possible audience across multiple platforms in an innovative way, bringing them closer to the action and winning new fans for our sport.”

The BT Sport Industry Awards Judging Process is one of the most transparent and stringent procedures of its kind with over 60 hours of intensive judging. Conducted in two stages and all overseen by EY, the process begins with the entries being reviewed and judged by the Steering Committee, featuring figureheads and industry heavyweights, to produce the Official Shortlist. This element of the process spans three weeks and sees more than 80 experts from across the industry and beyond decide the final list.

The BT Sport Industry Awards Judging Panel will then decide the winner of each category, to be announced at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2018 on April 26th 2018. Over 20 million people play netball around the world, in more than 80 countries. The International Netball Federation (INF) is the sole, internationally recognised, governing body for netball, affiliated to GAISF, the International World Games Association and the Association of Recognised International Sports Federations, receiving funding from the International Olympic Committee. Currently, 72 National Netball Associations are affiliated to the INF, grouped into five Regions – Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania – each with a respective Regional Federation.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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