Connect with us

Sports

Volleyball women off to Rio qualifiers

Published

on

The Botswana women’s senior national volleyball team has become a force to reckon with in the African continent. Currently, the women’s volleyball team, which is scheduled to  compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Qualifiers in Cameroon beginning this Friday, is now rated above the likes of South Africa and other   countries in the region that used to be ranked higher.

This was revealed by the president of the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) Daniel Molaodi at the team’s sending off ceremony held in Gaborone this Wednesday.

“There are seven teams that will be competing at the qualifiers and only one of the teams is rated below us. The other countries that have always troubled us in the qualifiers include Algeria, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco and the hosts Cameroon,” Molaodi said. The team left yesterday for the games that will be played until February 19.

Molaodi glorified the growth of the team over the years, attributing the growth to previous preparatory initiatives that have seen the team stay together for long. The core of the current national team, he added, previously went on a training camp in Thailand where they were preparing for the last Olympic games.  “The   dividends of that camp are now slowly paying off. If we want high performance we must be willing to invest,” he said.

The acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Kago Ramokate, who officiated at the send off ceremony, heaped praise on the team he said had already made a significant achievement by being chosen to represent the country against some of the best teams in the continent.

“Your steady trajectory in the African rankings not only shows growth of women’s volleyball in Botswana, but also symbolises commitment, passion and   hunger on the part of local clubs and their athletes,” Ramokate said, adding, “I would therefore like to implore you to go to Cameroon and play the best volleyball of your lives; and trust me, whatever the result you bring, we will be more than happy provided you played to your best.”

The team’s head coach Kabo Ntshinogang expressed satisfaction that preparations for the qualifiers went according to plan. He added that he knew and understood the majority of the players in the team except the three who will be making their senior national team debut – Tshiamo Chakalisa of Kutlwano, Jestinah Moyo of Dynamites and Keba Phofedi of Kalavango.

“ But the three new players have also shown readiness for battle and we hope they will gel quickly into the team,” he said. “The crucial qualifiers feature the cream of African volleyball. Some of the teams at the competition know us well, however we are also familiar with them.

We are a bit lacking in the attack department although our strength is on par with that of the opposition. This is something we have been working on at training,” the coach added.

Meanwhile the three senior national team rookies were full of confidence that they will fit well in the team. In a brief interview on the sidelines of the send off, Tshiamo said she was ready for the daunting test ahead as this will not be the first time she faced international competition.

“I have played against the likes of Egypt and Tunisia in development teams,” she said. Another debutant, Phofedi, said she was expecting the team to do better after the intense training they went through.

The Libero said she had gained from the knowledge of other experienced players in the team. For her part, Moyo expressed optimism for the team’s chance to proceed further in the qualifiers as they enter the competition as a strong unit.

Like Chakalisa, Moyo has played for the Under 20 and Under 23 teams and was the captain of Botswana’s African Youth Games volleyball team in 2014. The winner of the continental qualifiers will gain automatic qualification to Rio while the next two finishers will proceed to the final world Olympic Qualifiers to be played in May.

Continue Reading
Comments

Sports

Free at last

Published

on

Gaborone United Football Club has finally handed Township Rollers the release letter of its (Rollers) Head coach, Rodolfo Zapata, Sun Sports can confirm.

Since Zapata’s appointment as Rollers head coach last month, he is yet to sit on the bench. GU has been holding tight to Zapata’s work permits that he dumped early this year for a job in Kenya. He then resurfaced last month as Rollers coach but things have been stagnant with Zapata not able to coach as he had an active work permit that needed to be cancelled.

This week, both GU Chairman Boitumelo Nsunge and Zapata confirmed that there has been an exchange of the letter. “Yes we have given him the release letter and agreed to cancel his work permit with GU,” Nsunge said.

The GU chairman however noted that they are still to discuss the alleged debt saying they have asked Zapata to furnish them with prove that indeed they owe him money over P300 000. The news will see Rollers management breath a sigh of relief as they have been trying for several weeks now, to work on the GU Zapata saga.

This publication has been reliably informed that the president of Rollers, Jagdish Shah was running out of ideas and was bound to make a decision regarding the matter some time last week. Actually speculations have been rife that Zapata would soon be replaced before he even starts official work at Rollers.

However as it stands now, anytime is teatime. Rollers is eagerly waiting on the Department of Immigration to process Zapata’s work permit with Rollers. It is not clear if the work permit will be available latest today, which will see Zapata on the bench tonight when they play Notwane Football Club, or the Argentine will have to wait for the year 2019 to start his duties.

Continue Reading

Sports

Olopeng’s last answer as sports minister

Published

on

Before vacating his office at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Minister Thapelo Olopeng was confronted with one last controversial question from MP for Francistown Buti Billy last week.

The MP asked about an update on the commercialisation of sport. The issue has been a hot potato since the Botswana National Sports Commission Act was amended in order to professionalise local sports. However, the process has proven to be an uphill battle. The following is an excerpt from the Parliament Hansard in which the former sports minister responded to the question.
Buti Billy (Francistown East): Asked the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development to update this Honourable House on how he is commercialising sport and if there is any strategy in place to carry out that mandate.

Thapelo Olopeng: Thank you very much Mr Speaker. The transition from Botswana National Sport Council (BNSC) to the Commission in 2014 was the first step towards professionalisation of sport in terms of setting up structures. Sport is at different levels of commercialisation in the different sport codes depending on the level of professionalism. We have a number of teams or codes which are already at semi-professional.

In football, several clubs have their players contracted and remunerated as per signed contracts. Sport also sells broadcast rights to generate revenue. Merchandising is another way that sport has commercialised. There has been establishment of local companies that manufacture sport apparel, and these have grown in popularity over the years. We have also witnessed sport such as Boxing, Athletics, and Golf, to name but a few. We witnessed them professionalise their operations and more are expected to follow. In some of the sport codes, individual sportsmen and women play professional sport internationally.

Mr Speaker, the Botswana National Sport Commission Strategy 2028, which commenced in January 2013, is an overarching strategy towards professionalising of sport, and thus commercialisation. The strategy seeks to promote sport excellence and enhance the contribution of sport to the economy. Billy: Supplementary. Ke a leboga Tona. Fa re lebeletse sports in general; all sports codes, a Minister o itumelela gore he had created employment jaaka a bua gore other sports codes di setse di simolotse go dirwa commercial? (Looking at all sport codes in general, is the Minister of sports happy he has created employment as he says with other sport codes becoming commercial)?

Olopeng: Thank you very much Mr Speaker. Thank you very much Honourable Member. Mr Speaker, my answer to that is yes, because just as at Premier League in soccer, we have 16 teams and every player within these 16 teams is on a payroll; they are paid by those individual clubs, that is creation of employment. We have our international athletes, those who participate outside the country at different events; they are paid.

We have other players, our athletes in football, netball and those who are hired by teams outside Botswana, I can just give example of teams in South Africa which have hired our players right here from Botswana and those young boys are paid by these particular teams. We have not reached where we want to reach, that is the reason why we are still developing our strategy of 2028 with Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to make sure that we turn sports into an industry.

Continue Reading

Trending