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Cycling pursues corporate sponsorship

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The newly-elected Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) president, Mmetla Masire, has called on the business community to invest in the association’s activities.

In  a recent interview,  Masire said the BCA is one of the most organised sport codes based on the number of recent competitions they have organised. He described cycling as a relatively clean code that the business community can associate with. “Cycling has not been in the news for wrong reasons.” Masire was re-elected to the BCA presidency, which will see him holding the fort for the next three years. This follows the BCA’s new constitution, which replaced the old one, which gave the executive committee only a year in office.

Masire took over from Kagiso Potongwane three years ago and his mandate will be to grow the BCA’s sponsorship. In the past, the BCA had struggled with sponsorship like many other local sport codes. However, things have recently taken a turn for the better due to a surge of interest in cycling activities. Cycling has recently become one of the busiest sporting codes in the country. However, it has affiliate clubs like Tsela Riders that have enjoyed most sponsorship as compared to the association.

Companies like Mascom Wireless, Germ Diamond and World Group of Companies have been sponsoring cycling clubs. Masire praised the clubs for acquiring sponsorship. He said the association could also benefit if sponsors came forward. “This would allow us to send more cyclists to international competitions as opposed to the past years.”

Besides sponsorship growth he said they would be focusing on the implementation of youth structures in an effort to unearth future stars. In their previous term, Masire together with his committee members that included Tlamelo Dube, Tefo Monareng, Karabo Rasenyai, Jeremiah Kokwane and Anouk Van De Geest took the cycling community to international levels and rekindled love in cycling sport. This was proved in recent years when Botswana produced five level 1 qualified UCI coaches and two UCI level 2 qualified coaches.

BCA started its first grand participation in international competitions in 2014 when they participated in Africa Youth Games, which were held in Gaborone. Last year they sent four of their promising talents – Sethomo Masebe, Bakang Ebudilwe, James Masimo and Abueng Malete to the World Cycling Centre to prepare for the All Africa Games which were held in Congo Brazzaville. This year in the history of cycling sport in Africa, Botswana is ranked 7th in UCI ranking after a splendid performance in the recent mountain biking continental Championships in Lesotho.

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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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