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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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Zapata takes charge



TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile



PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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