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New chapter for Botswana volleyball

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The recent conclusion of a five-day international beach volleyball coaches course in Gaborone heralded a new chapter for the country’s sport as the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) aims to have staged a beach volleyball competition by close of year.

The Volleyball Your Way (VBYW) course that was conducted by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was only a part of a grand plan to see beach volleyball grace the expanse of the country. Traditionally played along ocean beaches in several coastal cities and towns around the world, beach volleyball has over the past few years been introduced even in land-locked countries where the sand used on the court is often imported from countries with beach fronts.

Botswana is the latest in Africa to consider bringing in the sport after other nations such as Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa and Namibia have been active in the sport for years. Without the benefit of the course last year, Botswana tested the waters by sending two teams of four players to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifiers in Mozambique, but were eliminated early by their more experienced opponents. It is against this background that the BVF applied for the coaches course in order to get it right from the grassroots.

The 22 coaches from BVF affiliates as well as primary, secondary and tertiary schools who successfully completed the course were challenged to ensure that Botswana hits the ground running in the sport to surpass the achievements of the indoor teams that have shown growth over the years. Botswana National Sports Commission’s (BNSC) Technical Sports Development Director Bobby Gaseitsewe told the graduating coaches: “Botswana volleyball has shown growth at regional and continental level as evidenced by the recent senior national women’s team that for the first time beat Tunisia in the Olympic qualifiers to finish at number five on the continent. I challenge you to use your knowledge to develop players who will surpass the achievements at indoor volleyball.”

Gaseitsewe, who was speaking at the coaches’ course closing ceremony, also challenged the volleyball body to ensure qualification of Botswana to the next Africa Games’ beach volleyball, where they should clinch a medal. He implored the coaches to exercise caution with the advent of beach volleyball as there exists a likelihood of divided attention that could lead to lowered standards. “All of you are fully involved in indoor volleyball and as such I would encourage you to find a balance between the two and not compromise the other one,” he said.

The same concern was raised by BVF President Daniel Molaodi who feared the possibility of talent exodus to beach volleyball which he said was relatively cheaper to run. On the flip side however, he said the sport offered a more realistic chance for Botswana to qualify for the Olympics. Already, the BVF has engaged a number of corporate entities with a view to get sponsorship for tournaments.

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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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