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KBL injects P1million on COPA tourney

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Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) this week announced sponsorship to the tune of P1, 150 000 towards the popular Copa Coca Cola tournament which targets the under 15 and under 17 boys and girls from 207 local schools. The tournament is on its third year running in Botswana.

The competition, which is a partnership between KBL and Botswana Integrated School Association (BISA), is a national event that reaches young talent in the   far-flung areas of the country. Speaking at the tournament launch in Gaborone this week, the Coke brand marketing activations manager Tamar Mbalo said this year marked the 3rd year of the competition, which started in Zimbabwe back in 1989. Mbalo said the tournament has since become an asset in promoting grass root soccer in the country. She added that the Copa tournament, which is played in 61 countries across the world, was now in Botswana.

“We are proud to partner with BISA. We   hope and believe COPA will nurture talent in Botswana,” she said. Speaking during the same event Coke Operations and Marketing manager Moitshepi Sefako said they will participate in an international camp held   in France this year. This is a global initiative, we sat down deliberated and decided to send two boys to represent us at the international camp later this month. Sefako said the two players are Kabo Seshabo and Ryan Brown who recently did well and were voted among   the best players at a recent development tournament in South Africa.

For his part, the BISA president Joshua Gaothobogwe applauded KBL   for listening to their plea to include under 17 boys and girls in the competition. Gaothobogwe said there were challenges in the first year of the tournament but things gradually improved the following year. “More than 20 000 boys and girls take part, KBL   has a vision. The last two years saw the boys team going to play in South Africa where they shared life skills,” he said, adding that a number of players from   the tournament have already   entered the junior teams within the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

The BFA technical director Benny Kgomela said their development targeted   children between 5 and 19 years of age. “At primary school they play for fun, they are not restricted compared to Secondary where they play for competition.” Moreover, Kgomela said they could not reach the far ends of the country without the partnership between KBL and BISA. “Talent searching is not easy and we rely on teachers in various schools.”

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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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