Letsile, Marape scoop biggest awards

Outstanding female athlete of the year: Naledi Marape. PIC PHATSIMO KAPENG.
Outstanding female athlete of the year: Naledi Marape. PIC PHATSIMO KAPENG.

Sprint sensation, Letsile Tebogo and Naledi Marape of Chess walked away with the biggest awards of the night at the 41st Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) awards held at Baisago Conventional Centre on Saturday.

The awards, which are the Outstanding Male and Female of the Year, were sponsored by Debswana at P75,000 each. Earlier this year, Tebogo set the national record after clocking 10.08 in junior men’s 100m Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) championships. He recently broke the World Under-20 record during the Gaborone International Meet World Athletics with a time of 9.96 in 100m. In the process, he booked himself a ticket to Oregon World Athletics Championships in July. Last year, he won a gold medal in the 100m Under-20 World Junior Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya. He also won a silver medal in the men's 200m during the same competition.

Receiving the award on Saturday night just a few hours before mothers’ day, Tebogo dedicated it to her mother, Seratiwa Tebogo and revealed that she has been his support system. “This one is not mine, it’s for her. She is my backbone and if it wasn’t for her I don’t think I would have a career in athletics,” he indicated.

Another young talent, Marape who is the best female of them all was a gold medal winner in girls’ category at the 2021 African Youth Chess championships in Ghana. She was also crowned girls champion at the 2020 Debswana Developmental Open Chess championships. She is the 2020 Africa online championship winner, and will represent Africa at the 2022 World youth chess championship in Greece. For her part Marape also thanked her father for being her biggest supporter from the onset. She revealed that her father continuously invested in her talent. She said this is her third time being nominated for the BNSC award and it was only this time that she managed to take it home.

Representing the sponsors of the biggest awards on the night, Debswana corporate affairs manager Louis Baseki said they are a very ambitious company especially in their approach to community development. He also said they have sponsored the awards because their work does speak for them. “Sport remains one of our pillars within our building forever aspirations no wonder we are proud to be associated with this event. Batswana, we can make a living through sport and we will remain bullish in our approach in making difference,” he said. Debswana also won the sponsor of the year award.

Among the winners of the night was coach Justice Dipeba, the man behind the historic Botswana’s 4x400m relay team, which won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last year. Dipeba won the Outstanding Coach of the Year award which comes with P25,000 as prize money. Receiving the gong, Dipeba dedicated the award to his wife and was also thankful to everyone who contributed to his success. He thanked the University of Botswana for giving him the time and facilities to serve his country.

Sprint sensation, Letsile Tebogo walked away with the outstanding male athlete of the year. PIC PHATSIMO KAPENG.
Sprint sensation, Letsile Tebogo walked away with the outstanding male athlete of the year. PIC PHATSIMO KAPENG.

Meanwhile, the Outstanding Referee/Umpire of the Year award went to Gaone Poane. For the media awards, Baleseng Batlotleng of BOPA took home the outstanding print journalist award while Tumelo Tafila won the outstanding electronic journalist award. BOTESSA walked away with the Most Resilient National Aport association Award. Gloria Majaga got the Outstanding Female Athlete with Disability award while Edwin Masuge won the Outstanding Male Athlete with Disability Award. Jwaneng Galaxy football club won Outstanding Team Award which was voted for by the public. Jwaneng Galaxy beat other tough nominees in the category such as the bronze medal winning Tokyo 2020 athletics 4x400m relay team and the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations bound The Mares. Another sprint sensation in athletics, Anthony Pesela, was among the people who won the minister’s award after winning two gold medals at the Under-20 World Junior Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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