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Dojo to accelerate Judo in Botswana

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Botswana Judokas can look forward to improving their skills and hopefully participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, thanks to the construction of a first-ever Judo dojo, which commenced this week in Gaborone with a ground breaking ceremony.

Youth, Sport and Culture Minister Thapelo Olopeng joined the Ambassador of Japan to Botswana Masahiro Onishi to officiate the ceremony on Tuesday. Speaking during the occasion Ambassador Onishi said he hopes when the dojo is complete it will help improve the skills of local Judokas so they can achieve “remarkable results” during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“This will be possible through the technical assistance of both the Japanese and local coaches,” he said. The Dojo construction follows the signing of a grant contract between the two countries amounting to P971 695 (87, 750 US$). Onishi said a volunteer senior Judo instructor has already been dispatched to Botswana to coach local Judokas. “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the efforts of the Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) and for the cooperation of all those concerned who have made the start of this project a reality” said Onishi on Tuesday.

Minister Olopeng applauded Botswana Judo federation as one of the national sport associations that have shown great potential for growth and contributed towards the building of youth through sports. “The federation (BJF) contributed one silver and bronze medal during the 2nd African Youth Games in 2014,” he said.

Furthermore, they went on to deliver one gold medal, 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals at the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Under 20 Games. The judo team also managed position 5 and 7 at the All African Games in September 2015. Recently in April 2016 at Commonwealth Judo championships they got 2 gold medals, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals.

Ambassador revealed that while 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the independence of Botswana it is also the year that “we celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Botswana and Japan.”

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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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