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NDB hosts Inter-Bank Games

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National Development Bank (NDB) will host this year’s Inter-Bank Games from August 18th.The annual collective sports event, amongst the local financial institutions started 11 years ago, as an attempt to raise funds and give back to the community.

This year’s competition includes eight sporting codes, under both indoor and outdoor games, according to chairman of Inter Club, Brian Ketshabile. He explained that the choice of the sporting codes depended on the followership of the general society. They include Golf, Soccer, Volleyball, Netball, Darts, Table Tennis, Pool and Aerobathon. Ketshabile also stated that they have therefore included everyone by the selection of their sporting codes in order to promote health and fitness. “This year we have added Golf, the sport that is regarded to be belonging to the high earned because we wanted to attract everyone,” he said.

The inter-games are meant to provide a networking platform and interaction within financial sectors.  Outdoor games are expected to start on August 18th at Phakalane Golf Estate, where Golf will be played at 12:00hrs, followed by football on the 20th at Lekidi Grounds, as well as Volleyball at Tsholofelo Park Courts at 09:00 hrs and Netball at the courts still to be confirmed. On the other hand, Indoor games will be taking place on August 19th, with Table Tennis and Pool played at Botho University Hall and Darts at BoB Grounds. All games will start at 19:00 hrs.

Ketshabile expressed gratitude to Botswana Netball Association (BONA) for helping them to host a successful competition. The drugs and health division of the ministry of health will use the games to promote health and wellness. Employees will get a chance to be tested for lifestyle diseases such as Hypertension and Sugar Diabetes while the Drugs and Alcohol Division will sensitise people on the use of alcohol and substance abuse.

Financial literacy will also be available during the games. “Financial Literacy is essential for every individual or family and during the interbank activities, we take time to set up for financial institution to educate the public about banking products, financial management and access to loan facilities,” he explained. When Interbank started 11 years ago, only half of the number of financial institutions participated, but now almost all banks take part.

This year, depending on funds raised, the committee intends to organise a day or two-day entrepreneurial seminar where youth in businesses can get advice and be mentored. One of the followers of Interbank games, Goitseone Setlhodi, says that she cannot wait to see who is going to secure the chairmanship this year. “I trust my bank, FNB and hope that they will play very well to make us the bankers proud,” she said.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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