Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is braced for what is expected to be a bumper year in track and field following huge disappointment at the recent Rio 2016 Olympics.
The first high profile competition in the BAA calendar is the World Athletics relay scheduled for the Bahamas in April while the Botswana National Championship is slotted for May 13th before the IAAF world championships. This week BAA development coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe said preparations are underway for the 2017 season with some of the athletes having already reported to camp.
Otsetswe said they expect a hard battle to erupt among athletes as the closing date for the national team selection draws nearer. “We have to give out the names by February 12, everyone is fighting for the top spot but till then the BAA is not in any position to name who will be included and who will be left out,” he said. The Association has witnessed a significant number of fresh faces displaying great potential. Nevertheless, he pointed that due to financial constraints; the Association has not yet brought all the athletes to camp.
The sensational 400m male Sprinter Karabo Sibanda has not yet reported to camp but Otsetswe was quick to point out that all the necessary procedures have been put in place and they are expecting him to be on camp anytime from today.Among those on camp is Botswana’s star 400m female sprinter Amantle Montsho who is said to be doing well in training. Montsho returns to the field of athletics after serving a two-year ban for failing a doping test at the 2014 Commonwealth games.
The coach said Montsho’s performance is currently top notch, adding that he is confident that within the next two months, she will have reached her usual and required standard.
“She seems to have a mission to accomplish, the thirst and eagerness in her eyes is vivid enough and honestly it does not come as a surprise, she has a mountain to climb ahead of her, to ensure that she returns to her glory days. Otsetswe revealed that Baboluki Thebe’s two-week treatment in Italy following an injury he sustained during the Olympic games seems to have done the trick.
He said the specialists gave them a certain training programme to follow and they have not encountered any problems so far. However, Thebe can only be fully cleared by the end of February after consulting with the specialists once more.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”