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Debswana, BoBA reward 2014/15 star boxer

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Eastern Military Garrison (EMG) Boxing Club’s middleweight, Zibani Chikanda’s patience and hard work finally paid off when he was bestowed the Boxer of the Year Award at the Debswana Boxing Awards ceremony over the weekend.

After years of blood and sweat in the boxing ring, the military man proved that he has certainly matured like fine wine having experienced a stellar 2015 season which saw him finish in third place at the 2015 All Africa Games (AAG).

Moreover, the power punching Chikanda managed to get a silver medal at the African Confederation Boxing Championships in Casablanca, Morocco. Closer to home, the 30-year old managed to grab a gold medal at the Zone IV Games in South Africa.

It was a combined award ceremony that also recognised outstanding performers from 2014, with the Boxer of the Year Award for last year going to the abundantly talented pugilist Kagiso Bagwasi. It was a fulfilling recognition for the budding Bagwasi who beat tough competition from the likes of Mooketsi Lekgetho and Oteng Oteng to win the prestigious award.

The southpaw who is coached by 2015 Coach of the Year Thebe Setlalekgosi, has enjoyed consistent success ever since bursting onto the local boxing scene three years.

Kagiso and his younger sibling Kabelo Bagwasi have been a staple in the national team and the main attraction at BoBA interclub tournaments. Ever since being introduced to the sweet science back in 2009, Bagwasi has grown from strength to strength under the guidance of Setlalekgosi.

This year Bagwasi won a bronze medal at the 2015 All Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo. The 22-year-old athletic pugilist also came third at the African Confederation Championship in Morocco earlier this year. His crowning moment was garnering a gold medal at the 2015 African Zone 4 Games in South Africa.

Bagwasi is now expected to qualify for next year’s 2016 Rio, Brazil Olympic games. Other 2014 winners on the night include: Female Promising Boxer of the Year, Keamogetse Kenosi; Male Promising Boxer of the Year, Mohammad Otukile; Female Boxer of the Year, Pearl Morake; Coach of the Year, Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza; Best Judge Hlanganani Digwere and Etsogile Ngwako who won the Best Referee award.

The 2015 award winners include Orapeleng Ketshametse who scooped the Female Promising Boxer award; Mohammed Otukile the Male Promising Boxer of the year; Female boxer of the year for Koketso Dipogiso; Coach of the Year, Thebe Setlalekgosi; Best Judge Hlanganani Digwere and Best Referee, Etsogile Ngwako.

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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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