Sunday, September 27, 2020

Botswana produces motor sport star

Botswana has produced its very own upcoming biking sensation, and he has even faced competition on international level.

Recently crowned Botswana’s MX champion 2008 at the Mmopane race track, 20-year-old Carr Lebatha oozes with great talent.

Lebatha has frequented the country’s bike racing competitions, winning his first race in the Botswana National Club Championships (BNCC) with a second place finish in 2005.

Following a winning streak, he virtually obtained first position in the first two off-road races and second in the last Botswana off-road championships.

Lebatha competed in countries as far as Russia where he accompanied Ross Branch to the Russian Federation. Upon his arrival there, he took part in a competition called the International Series, which saw him riding for the famous bodo Schmidt on a 250F.

Lebatha acquired 15th position despite racing on unfamiliar international territory.
This was during the year 2006, when he had taken a year off after completion of his high school in Port Elizabeth.

He also managed to attain a competitive four stroke 250cc Kawasaki and managed to step up to fifth place finish in a Namibian National MX event and later 9th at the Namibian international series.

A determined member of the Gaborone Motor Club and currently studying at Limkokwing, Lebatha also raced in competitions for local company, Blues Employees Services in 2006.

The biggest problem faced by bikers in Botswana is that of sponsorship, especially concerning the provision of equipment.

Luckily for the young man, whom Namibian newspapers have nicknamed the “Black Pearl’, Blue Employees Services covered that part of the deal for him.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Standard, Lebatha tells of how little the hype and attention granted towards biking in Botswana is.
According to him, in his races outside the country, in countries like Namibia, South Africa and especially Russia, the sides along the race tracks were always filled and packed with supporters and fans of the sport.

In his view, although relatively new, the sport needs more publicity in Botswana, especially in the media, as many people are usually unaware of the dates that Biking championships take place.
The main focus for the eager biker is winning the next South African national title.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.