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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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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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