Sunday, October 25, 2020

Local Sport Wages War against Coronavirus

As governments and organisations around the world continue to wage war against the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID 19, sport is also playing its part.

Prominent athletes and various sporting organisations, among them top teams have been actively waging war on the disease, which is disrupting the human life.

Football stars Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovich, coach Pep Guardiola, tennis stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, just to mention a few, have all been at the forefront, even donating some of their monies to the fight against the virus.

Elsewhere, prominent football teams like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus, just to mention but three, have all posted messages to supporters worldwide to inform them of the disease.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chelsea football club raised the bar high as it availed its Millennium Hotel in Stamford Bridge to medics.

Closer here in Botswana, local athletes, sporting codes and sporting clubs have also raised their game to play a role in the fight against the novel virus.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) was one of the first local sporting codes to launch a war against the virus.

Keen to stop the spread of the virus early when Botswana was yet to record a single case, on March 16th, the BFA took a bold decision to stop the leagues across the country.

Ever since then, the BFA president Maclean Letswhiti along with several local football stars, both active and retired, have posted messages of warning to Batswana on the BFA social media platforms.

Among the footballers to have landed their voice to the fight against the disease are the likes of Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane, senior women national team captain Bonang Otlhagile, Kabelo Seakanyeng and many others.

To escalate the message even further, on the 28th of March, Letshwiti, along with some former national team players visited the usually crowded Gaborone Bus Rank to raise awareness on coronavirus.

Various local football teams, among them, Molepolole City, TAFIC and Notwane, just to mention but three, have also vigorously used their status to raise awareness against the disease.

Using an array of their stars, both Molepolole City and TAFIC have taken to their social media platforms to give tips to football supporters and Batswana on how ‘to beat the disease.’

Spearheaded by its president Tebogo Sebego, a day after the BFA took a decision to stop all football leagues, Notwane engaged experts to teach its players about coronavirus.

Sebego has also posted his own video messages on the team’s social media platforms to raise awareness of the disease.

Away from football, Karate star and Olympic hopeful Ofentse Bakwadi has taken to his social media platforms to sensitise Batswana on the disease.

On April 4th, Bakwadi posted his own short training video titled ‘Let’s Play Our Part’ in which he gave tips to his followers and Batswana on how to play their role in the fight against the disease.

Women and Sports Botswana (WASBO) has also joined hands in the war against corona with various messages and videos in its media platforms.

WASBO is among the few sporting codes aggressively waging a war against the virus, with the help of local women star athletes and administrators.

Among leading women athletes to have landed their voices to WASBO in the fight against the disease are Women International Master (WIM) Boikhutso Modongo of Chess, Table Tennis star Boitshwarelo Butale, former netball national team goal shooter Tebogo Radipotsane, former national team karate athlete Thato Malunga Kago and netball national team player Gagotheko Tshelametsi.

Aside from launching a lockdown challenge for people to keep themselves entertained and fit while at home, WASBO has also posted messages from prominent women administrators in their bid to fight the disease.

Among the prominent women sports administrators to have either participated in the WASBO lockdown challenge or lent their voice in the fight against the disease are Neo Gwafila-Bulayani, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) board member Tebogo LebotseSebego, Oreeditse Marakakgoro and National women’s football secretary Joyce Madome.

Others include WASBO Chairperson Matlho Jennifer Kgosi, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) Secretary General Tsuna Makwa and Executive Member Kelebogile Ditsele as well as Botswana Hockey Association president Unaswi Matebu, just to mention a few.

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