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Chess dream team off to Olympiad

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The Botswana chess dream team that will represent the country at the 2016 World (Chess) Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan is the best the country can possibly mount.

Speaking at a sending off ceremony in Tlokweng on Monday, Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) president Tshenolo Maruatona said the formidable team assembled by the Botswana Chess Federation (BCA) went through rigorous selection to ensure they are ready for the task ahead.

The team was expected to leave for Baku yesterday (Tuesday). Addressing players and other stakeholders, Maruatona said the Olympiad was the highest platform for any chess player with over 180 teams from all over the world competing. “Only a few outstanding individuals can manage to make it through to the competition,” he said.

Maruatona reminded the team of the tough battle ahead of them at the Olympiad, adding that the international showpiece is made up of world grandmasters. “Africa has only two Grandmasters so far and the competition is not as easy as some might think.” However, Maruatona urged the team not to be passive victims of circumstance at the competition, but to be vigorous and aggressive towards their opponents.

“The dignity of our country lies on your shoulders. Lift up our national flag with pride and project qualities that will represent us well on the board”. The President noted that chess players should take pride in the game, for it is a sporting code that produces reputable academic personnel. “We are not just any other code and this is something we always mention to our sponsors.”

Maruatona said the BCA is proud of delivering the board game that engages the strategic and critical thinking of players, adding that people should note that the more the mind is trained, the sharper it becomes. Even though the team has not attained the desired optimal preparation, Maruatona expressed absolute confidence in the team, which is a blend of well-experienced and pristine players.

The female team consists of star players like Onkemetse Francis, Thapelo Francis, Mob Mabedi and Boikhutso Modongo. Representing the male team is Ndawana Mosenya, Moakofi Notha, Keletshabile Monnatsheko, Thuso Mosutha and the youngest player Otsile Mapini. Maruatona explained that funding was one major setback that the team encountered. However, Bathopele Construction Company came to their rescue and sponsored the team to the tune of P75,000 in early August.

“Our company is all about giving back to the community and if resources are permitting we are hopeful that next year we will inject more to the cause,” said Sarona Odirile, a manager at Bathopele.

For her part, BCA spokesperson, Keenese Katisenge, said the team is aiming for category medal in each section at the Olympiad, improve Botswana’s rankings and also acquire new titles.She said the games would commence on the 2nd of September. The team will be expected back home on the 15th September.

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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