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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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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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