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Netball World Cup LOC begins work



Work on the 2017 International Netball Federation (INF) World Youth Cup to be hosted in Botswana officially began yesterday when the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng officially launched the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the event.

The 13-strong team is headed by veteran netball administrator Prisca Mokgadi and they are tasked with managing a large scale operation that will see Botswana hosting 20 of the world’s best netballing nations. Speaking at the launch in Gaborone on Tuesday morning, Olopeng said hosting the games of this magnitude required high calibre leadership, meticulous programme planning and implementation in all aspects of event management.

“The important responsibilities associated with event management brings us to the reason why we are gathered here today to launch the LOC,” Olopeng said.  Flanked by the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) chairman Solly Reikeletseng and the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) patron Botlogile Tshireletso, Olopeng expressed confidence that they had picked some of the best men and women to establish the LOC and ensure successful delivery of the games.

“The illustrious track records and collective experiences are a source of comfort not only to my ministry but the country as a whole.” Olopeng pledged to support the LOC that has since received P15 million from government towards the international games. “When my ministry acceded to the request by BONA to bid   for hosting of the games my ministry committed a budget of P15 million over three years for both the  team preparation and hosting of the tournament. This is a modest contribution by Government and does not cover the total cost of the Games,” he said.

Olopeng appealed to the corporate world to step up and support the games financially. Meanwhile other members of the LOC under Mokgadi are Tebogo Kesupile (Vice chairperson), Girish Ramakrishna (Head of Finance), Tsoseletso Magang (Commercial and Sponsorship), Stephaney Stoneham (Marketing and Branding), Dr Odiseng Lesedinyana (Medical and Doping), Tebogo LebotseSebego (Communications and Protocol), Mpho Gaobakwe (Head of Legal) and Tiny Moremi (Project Management).

Speaking during the same occasion, LOC chairperson Prisca Mokgadi said her committee required a full time secretariat for the games, adding that they could not organise the games on their own as most of her committee members had full time jobs. “The second challenge is lack of resources. The government   has boosted us with P10.9 million but this is less than we need,” she said.

She added that there was need for infrastructure, as the international netball governing body required two indoor facilities to host the world cup. Mokgadi explained that thus far only the indoor facility at the University of Botswana was up to scratch. “We also want training venues as we will have to host test games before the 2017 event.” She added that the infrastructure left behind would also serve as a legacy after the games are concluded.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko



ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff



BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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