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BCF revels in lap of success

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The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) calendar is undoubtedly imprinted in the country’s sports arena following a successful 2015 season.

“We have successfully handed the calendar for the year 2015 and we are happy to report that it was a huge success,” said BCF president Tshenolo Maruatona at the association’s Annual General Meeting in Tlokweng over the weekend. Addressing BCF affiliates, an elated Maruatona said, “Our calendar catered for various stakeholder groups and this has seen the federation hold events almost every weekend.”

“The Metropolitan chess championships and the Debswana Botswana Open remain the biggest tournaments in our chess calendar. In the year 2015, we have seen successful execution of these events.” Maruatona said the level of play and competitiveness has improved drastically and the BCF continues to unearth new talent in the country through such events.

“The Botswana Chess Open championships continue to attract players from the neighbouring African countries. This has gone a long way in inspiring our local players to raise the bar in defending the pride of the country”. Moreover, Maruatona said Botswana Chess continues to compete in a number of events in Africa and the rest of the world, adding that this is key in measuring themselves against international competition.

On the chess administration front, Maruatona said they continue to recognise the importance of building capacity amongst the personnel. “I am happy to point out that we have seen an increase in the number of officials who have been accorded recognition mostly by the world chess body.” Maruatona said the association held an Arbiters’ training Seminar last year where 17 of its locals were awarded Arbiter norms. “This number adds to other existing arbiters that the federation has trained over the past years.”

“I wish to point out that there is still a lot that needs to be done in increasing the numbers of fide trained arbiters in Botswana. We are cognisant of the financial constraints of hiring a FIDE accredited trainer to run the courses locally, but it remains our resolute endeavour to find affordable ways of conducting the training sessions in Botswana.”

Over the past year Maruatona said they have seen keen interest by continental event organisers in engaging our local administrators to partake in their events. “Notably Tshepiso Lopang and Vincent Masole have been actively involved in a number of events around Africa as arbiters. On the follow up, Mr Masole will be an arbiter at this year’s chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.”

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Zapata takes charge

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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

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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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