Africa-Press – Botswana. Botswana’s achievements in the track and field events have inscribed and solidified the country’s name in sport history across the world.

“Botswana has shown the world what the country is truly made of. Our athletes have not only competed, but have been excellent, standing proudly on the podium as champions and ambassadors of our nation,” said President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi at the 43rd Botswana Sports Awards in Tlokweng on Saturday.

He commended all winners for the pride they continued to bring to the country through their dedication and exceptional performance in sport. President Masisi encouraged nominees, who did not win the awards, not to despair, but to continue with their dedication and hard work.

“Events of this nature bring sweet memories of how our sport landscape experienced a transformative change in 1994 when we attained our first global medal by France Mabiletsa,” he said.

The event, the President said, provided an opportunity to honour achievements in sport and to reflect on the remarkable strides that the country had made in other areas. The awards and gala dinner, themed: #LegendaryStatus, celebrated excellence and outstanding achievement of Botswana athletes and administrators.

In his remarks, the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare thanked President Masisi, who was accompanied by First Lady Neo, for his love and support for sport.

Rakgare assured President Masisi and the nation that his ministry was ready to support the teams’ preparedness ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics Games from July 26 to August 11. Furthermore, the minister expressed delight that the ceremony also honoured some of the country’s sports legends by displaying their pictures.

These included the late former vice president, Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe, who had served as BNSC chairperson and Botswana National Olympics Committee president. The 400m runner and former Commonwealth champion, Amantle Montsho was also honoured.

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) was the biggest winner with six awards.

Letsile Tebogo and Oratile Nowe of athletics won Sportman of the year and Sportswoman of the year awards respectively.

Collen Kebinatshipi of athletics and Natalie Banda of chess got Junior sportsman and Junior sportswoman of the year awards. Both Kebinatshipi and Banda walked away with P25 000 each.

BAA also scooped the National Sporting Association of the year award, whilst Coach of the year and Sports administrator of the year awards went to Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyane of athletics and Moses Bantsi of athletics respectively. Additionally, Bantsi received P10 000 for his efforts.

Three minister’s award went to the motorsport hero, Ross Branch, national women football team and senior national men football team striker, Tumisang Orebonye.

Furthermore, the Umpire/Referee of the year and Non-citizen and National team of the year awards went to; Emmanuel Kgaboetsile of Badminton and Sensei William Matike-Ndoumbe of Judo.

Special Olympic athletes, Thuso Malasa and Onalenna Onneng, won the Sportsman with a disability of the year and Sports woman with a disability of the year awards.

Under the media category awards, the DailyNews newspaper scooped Print Media House of the year, Botswana Television got Electronic media house of the year, RB2’s Solomon Kakuwa won Sports journalist of the year, whilst Killer Pass Letlhogonolo Mawila won Photojournalist of the year.

Women and Sports Botswana (WASBO) also gave a special award to former WASBO vice chairperson, Dr Shika Trivedi in recognition of her contribution to sport. Each of the winners received a trophy.

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