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Grass roots must be a major priority for sport

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The Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng has called for Batswana to continue registering success and raising their international rankings in the sports arena.

Olopeng who was officiating at   the 2016 Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) awards in Gaborone over the weekend said there was need for great prioritization of investment in grass-roots sports programmes and junior development. “Catching them young,” should be the catch phrase and approach for National Sports Associations operating under the auspices of the BNSC, Olopeng said.

“This can assure us of sustainability of excellent performance.” The minister gave examples of   upcoming young talent like Naomi Ruele, Kaya Groth and Baboloki Thebe, adding that these individuals have what it takes to continue increasing the country’s global competiveness in sport. For his part, the BNSC chairman Solly Reikeletseng said the continued   partnership with stakeholders who   support sports was important.

“I therefore take this opportunity to express    heartfelt gratitude to government for supporting us financially to deliver our mandate. We can never thank the   business community enough for all the assistance we get, as well as fans and supporters for the euphoria they breathe to our industry,” Reikeletseng said.

Meanwhile, some of the winners at the BNSC awards included: Naomi Ruele (Junior female sports person of the year), Lame Hetanang (Sports woman of the year), Karabo Sibanda (Junior sportsperson of the year) and Zibane Chikanda (Sports man of the year).

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Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure

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Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.

Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.

Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.

The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.

“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.

The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.

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BFA FIRES BRIGHT

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Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.

At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.

According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.

Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.

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