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Development key to DTCB club success

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The secret behind the weekend’s sweepstake by the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) boxing team at the weekend’s boxing tournament has been revealed. The decorated club continued its onslaught on the local amateur boxing landscape after winning the 2015 edition of the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) National Championships staged from Saturday to Sunday in Gaborone.

With a total of five gold medals up for grabs for the competing teams, the DTCB stable managed to walk away with all of them, something for which the club’s headcoach Thebe Setlalekgosi could not hide his excitement. He raved about how the club’s consistency over the past three years had been backed up by their deliberate decision to focus on the grassroots. “We started a development program where we adopted schools and trained Form One students back in 2009. By 2012 the boxers started to mature,” Setlalekgosi told Sun Sports.

Since 2012, the club has been winning the national championships or finishing as runners up to the likes of Tsholofelo Boxing Club. “In most cases we were tied on   points and Tsholofelo would beat us with medal count. In the past three years we won the championship twice in 2012 and 2015,” he said.
Setlalekgosi referred to the development program as one of the best in the country given that DTCB club boxers make up about 50 percent of the current national team.  

The boxers that won gold medals for DTCB at the finals in Gaborone on Sunday include Kabelo Bagwasi (60kg), Marshall Mokgwaela (49kg), Kagiso Bagwasi (64kg), Kutlwano Ogaketse (56kg) and Thabang Motsewabeng (81kg). In addition, Setlalekgosi said his team consisted of predominantly young athletes between the ages of 18 to 23 years. Added Setlalekgosi, “Some of the schools we have adopted include Gaborone Secondary School where we train. We are also affiliated to junior secondary schools like Tlogatloga and Maikano.”

Setlalekgosi revealed that other boxing clubs like BMC, Tsholofelo and Mafika have similar development programs, an undertaking he glorified although he also lamented the lack of such development programs at well-resourced military based clubs.

Although the resources they have could assist in proper development of athletes, military clubs only wait for practising boxers to join the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) before they can absorb them into their programs. However, Setlalekgosi expressed delight that the Sunday tournament was well organised.

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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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