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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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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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