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Sarona Hans – Unstoppable netball champion and future pilot

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Hans is a keen netball player with trophies and medals brimming from her drawers. At 21 years, she has already achieved feats that have taken others many years to fulfill. At 17, she was already playing netball for Notwane team, and basketball for the BDF side.

Born and raised in Gaborone but originally from Karakubis village in the Ghanzi district, Hans realised her passion for sport when she was still a learner at Legae primary school. She played basketball and softball at school, and was introduced to netball by her mother, Lucy Hans, who interestingly also has a colourful and impressive record as a former national team netball player.

Hans used to tag along to the Notwane courts with her mother for practice sessions, and soon enough, the then ‘pekenene’, learnt how to grab, hold and throw a ball. Add to that her agile sprint on her long legs, and a gem had been unearthed. Her mother’s teammates and coach soon noticed the young Hans’ talent and encouraged her mother to give her break into the sport.

She then started playing for the Notwane junior team, and the rest, as is often said, is history. Hans soon realised that her sport engagements clash, and after some mulling over, she decided to stick with netball. “I chose netball because it has a higher ranking and nationally, the team does well. It was important for me to travel and exert my sporting talents through challenging myself; netball accorded me that opportunity.”

By the time she was doing her secondary education at St Josephs’ Secondary School, Hans was already a promising netball player commanding a national team spot. Some of her memorable achievements include being captain of the netball national Under-17 team twice, being captain of the Under-21 team, and what’s more she boasts 18 caps! She also enjoyed a stint playing for the Singapore Under-21 team in 2014.

Hans was recently awarded a scholarship to study aviation (commercial pilot license) at Griffith University in Australia. She will be flying out of the country in a few weeks’ time, but she is not lost to Botswana. She has been selected to be part of the team which will represent the country at the World Netball Championship to be held in Botswana next year. Hans cannot contain her excitement over the netball championships coming to Botswana.

“It will not only be an opportunity to put Botswana on the map as a tourist destination, but will offer Batswana an opportunity to see the best of the netball champion teams from across the world. It’s a great feat for our sporting fraternity and nation as a whole and the perfect opportunity for aspirant netball players, and those who enjoy it to experience the best of the sport.”

Hans would like to see more young women taking to sports long-term, citing that being physically active and involving in sporting activities doesn’t only keep the body trim and fit, but also contributes to a healthy mental state, enhances self-esteem, improves social skills and keeps one busy, leaving little time to dabble in undesirable activities.

When she’s not playing netball, Hans enjoys relaxing at home, and occasionally goes out for swimming and to the cinema with her friends.

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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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