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Kutlwano rake in P270 000 from 2015 league

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Kutlwano Volleyball Club emerged the biggest winners from the 2015 Mascom Volleyball League awards last Thursday, amassing a total of P270 000 in prize money for both the league and the Top 8 championship.

They say their phenomenal success story for both the men and women teams this past season is attributable to more than just their prowess in tactical and technical skills on the field of play.

After almost sweeping all the stakes at the awards last week, Kutlwano have attributed part of their success to developing character in their players, which later translates to success on the court. “We make sure that we instil a sense of humility and dignity in our players when they join the club,” revealed Kutlwano spokesperson Keamogetse Motse in an interview.

Motse said they focus on building character in their players so that they understand where they initially started when they reach greater heights in the game. “Our teams usually consist of a mixture of both new and   experienced players, you would wonder why a seasoned player like Shadrack Kapeko is still playing.”

For winning the year-long league on both the men’s and women’s categories, the club made P200 000 from the first prize money of P100 000 per category. Moreover, Kutlwano men’s team walked away with P40 000 for winning the Mascom Volleyball Top 8 championship while their women made P30 000 from finishing as runners up in the Top 8 tournament.

However, this may have been the last league awards for the sport after Mascom announced before the event that they were pulling out from sponsoring the league – a development that is bound to adversely affect individual volleyball teams in the league.

Quizzed on how this move will affect her team, Motse said they have not received any communication about the issue from the BVF. “We are very much aware of the announcement but I cannot comment any further as the BVF office has not said anything to us.”

Nevertheless, Motse said it would be tragic for teams if the sponsor pulls out of the league. “Luckily, from our side we have a running sponsorship with a local insurance company, Exclusive. They have been sponsoring us since 2011. The sponsorship has been helping us with transport for players and buying equipment.”

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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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