“What I tell student-athletes is first of all, you have made good choices this far in order to be able to be in college and to be athletes. Keep making good choices,” Condoleezza Rice.
Congratulations are in order for the five footballers who have just been awarded scholarships to pursue further studies at Botho University.
The lucky five are Kabelo Maphakela, Thabo Leinanyane, Arnold Mampori, Kamogelo Molemogi, with Thongbotho Mogatle being the only woman in the group.
Of the five beneficiaries, who were picked from a total of 26 applicants who had shown interest, four are men and one is a woman.
Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) Secretary General Kgosana Masaseng, said the five are the initial beneficiaries of a memorandum of understanding signed between FUB and Botho University.
Under the MoU, the university has undertaken to provide five scholarships for footballers who are FUB members.
“We have agreed on a five-year scholar program with Botho University. When the five athletes graduate, the next five will be selected,” Masaseng explains.
The FUB secretary general says from all their members countrywide, only 26 footballers had applied.
From these, Masaseng says five deserving footballers with outstanding academic performances from previous schools were selected.
The only disappointment was that from the 26 applicants, only one was a woman. He says the FUB will be looking into whether this was out of lack of confidence and self- esteem.
“We have made an observation that some of our players lack confidence while some are not academically gifted,” the FUB secretary general says.
He goes on to point that they are in further talks with Botho University to launch vocational education for those who are academically challenged in order to equip them with practical skills.
Given the limited number of scholarships offered by Botho University, FUB is in talks with other institutions to come on board and offer more scholarships to players.
“One other thing we have realized is that Botho University does not have all courses leading to some players not being catered for, hence some did not apply. We want to cater for everyone hence opening up to other institutions to at least enroll some,” he added.
“We are now looking for 25 students-athletes who will do short courses which will be vocational education. This way we will give each one of them a choice to make but they will be educated at the end of the day,” Masaseng says.
The FUB plan is to have as many footballers as possible to have something to rely on once they hang their boots, either due to injuries or retirement.