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BAA braces for bumper 2017 season

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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.

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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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