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Sibanda shines at BNSC Awards

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The young, sensational sprinter, Karabo Sibanda emerged P70 000 richer after scooping the prestigious Sportsperson of the Year and the Junior Male awards at the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) ceremony held on Saturday night at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC).

“I did not expect this award and I am overwhelmed to have managed to win an award of this magnitude against the best athletes of the country and the world at large,” said the jubilant Sibanda.

Sibanda managed to beat Khaya Groth of Karate and James Freeman of swimming to the junior male award. The Commonwealth junior championship gold medalist said he was not intimidated by any opponent that he is pitted against, “I understand that the Olympics might seem like a more advanced stage for me but I don’t doubt myself. My mindset always tells me I am the best and I give my best ability in every performance and so far that has worked wonders for me. I do not burden myself about Carron James, LeSean Merit or Isaac Makwala, I just focus on myself,”

The African junior championships gold medalist proclaims that he managed to qualify for the Olympics with a first degree torn hamstring injury, which he is still nursing it to date. The talented Sibanda went on to promise that the awards will only boost his confidence and will not divert him to something adverse, “I will remain the same Karabo Sibanda I was before winning both this awards,”

Sibanda’s coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe, who on the day also celebrated the Coach of the year award, said he would maintain the youngster’s discipline and self-restraint. “I have been with him for a longer time and I have a good relationship with his parents, so he listens to me. I told him fame will come with drama alongside, I again told him winning should not dwell in his mind so much that he looks down upon other people because that will derail him,”
He further gave assurance that Sibanda’s injury was not bad.

Other winners were Naomi Ruele who won the junior female sports person of the year, Lame Hetanang scooped the Sports Woman of the year award and Chairman’s award respectively. The sportsman of the year went to Zidane Chikanda of Boxing, Coach of the year went to Mogomotsi Otsetswe while Roslyn Tebele walked away with the Sports administrator and Mpho Bakwadi was the referee of the year.

Giving his remarks at the ceremony the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Honorable Thapelo Olopeng said winning medals at major events is always a product of hard work dedication and commitment by the athletes, technical teams, sport governing bodies, sponsors and Government. “There are other relevant stakeholders including most importantly the fans who throng the stadia to support wholeheartedly the engagement of their teams and athletes in competitive and friendly events,” he says.

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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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