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BAA to discipline athletes

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The president of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Mooketsi Thari believes indiscipline has been rearing its ugly head at his organisation and the matter needs to be dealt with urgently. So bad is the situation that Thari expects the BBA to enforce a strict code of conduct before the end of the year. In an interview with Sun Sports this week, Thari said BAA is busy formulating laws and regulations that will hopefully put his house back in order. The laws he said, will be a guide for both athletes and administrators.

However, the fiery BAA president was at pains to reveal the names of local athletes that are believed to have been difficult to deal with. Of late, there have been allegations of doping within the BAA. Other well-known athletes have been accused of eluding doping officers. The BBA President who has expressed grave concern over the matter said there is need to act swiftly before the name of the thriving sport code is tarnished. Recently, unconfirmed reports coming out of BAA are that some athletes are proving hard to deal with.

The athletes were reported to be turning rebellious and often neglecting instructions from BAA officials. “A professional athlete is a difficult person to deal with because they interact with many people daily who sometimes mislead them. They interact with many athletes who share their experiences and how they deal with their own managers,” Thari explained. In addition, Thari said it is those misleading advices that often make athletes behave as if they are bigger than the Association or worse, even bigger than the country. According to him, a contributing factor to the matter might be that locally, athletes are expected to race in just about any competition and this often frustrates elite athletes. “When we speak about development it means we should have categorised events and know which ones would benefit our elite athletes in the long run.” Thari said there is serious need for them to weigh all competitions and also reach an agreement with athletes to ensure that even when they accept invites from abroad, they will be representing the country well and not only themselves.

Still on that, Thari said it is an open secret that Botswana is doing well as far as athletics is concerned. He is a proud president in that there appears to be a bright future for most developing athletes adding that it pleases him to witness young local athletes clocking impressive times. Thari singled out the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) and gave them a pat on the shoulder for producing grassroot talent: “They are doing well unearthing talent around the country and we will continue to support them,” he said. The aim he said, is to increase the number of coaches locally, however the biggest challenge remains the lack of sponsorship. He further expressed concerned over the fact that other track and field events still remain a challenge in Botswana. Thari said the BAA needs to pay full attention to this in order to go forward.

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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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