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Chess pledges to adopt 100 schools

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Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) intends to adopt 100 local schools next year. Recently, the BCF president Tshenolo Maruatona said, “We expect every chess master to identify a school of their choice and the federation will support them in nurturing talent at such schools”.

Over the past few years, the BNSC award winning code introduced an interesting variation for their winners from numerous chess tournaments. Over and above the prize money, BCF tournament winners are given responsibilities to adopt primary schools of their choice and mentor the kids and introduce them to the game of chess.

The federation has so far adopted two schools being Metsimotlhabe Primary School and Tsogang Primary School. Jonah Chaka adopted Metsimotlhabe primary school while Tsogang Primary School is being trained by Coach Lesego Selemogwe.

“This initiative bodes well with the federation’s objective of developing chess among the primary school going kids,” Maruatona explained. Players from both these schools have gone onto represent the country at regional tournaments and they are progressing well in the game. Over the past 2years, BCF has engaged an aggressive campaign to spread the game of chess throughout the country.

The winner of the 2015 Master Chess Championships Dragon Keseilwe has adopted Cornerstone primary school in Mochudi and he furnished them with chess equipment and will be training them for two years.

Roscoe Bonna who adopted Tsogang Primary School played an active role in developing the sport of chess at the school. Some of the kids from the school have already made it into the national team. One of the chess clubs Ice Queen took a bold move to donate chess equipment to 100 primary schools in Botswana.

The equipment was given to Botswana Primary Schools Association to distribute to its members. BCF want to have at least every strong player adopting a school and taking the kids and teachers at such a school through rigorous training programmes.

According to Maruatona by end of 2016, every primary school in Botswana should at least have two rated players, who can go on to mentor and develop other players.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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