Tsaone Latiwa of Botrail Cycling club has become the latest cyclist to receive an elite scholarship to study abroad and further her sporting career.
The 19 year old will soon leave for Griffith College in Queensland, Australia, to pursue Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences for duration of five and a half years.
She will be fully funded by the Botswana government through the Elite Scholarship Fund issued by the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD).
Speaking in an interview, her coach Reginald Ditlogolo said he was proud of the athlete as she has continued to show growth and development in her cycling career.
Even more exciting for Ditlogolo is that the Elite Scholarship Fund awarded to the athlete recognises sport excellence and academic achievement.
“I am very excited as her coach and for the team as the scholarship is a major achievement and a reward for Botswana Railways as they are sponsors of the team,” he added.
He said “We are happy to have developed Tsaone as a girl Child to this Level and as a team we will continue working hard to develop both young boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 18.”
Among her achievements in cycling, Latiwa was the 2016 National Road and Time Trial Champion, 2017 National Time Trial Champion and is the current 2018 National Individual Time Trial Champion. Latiwa will leave on the 15th of October this year.
However, it is not the first time Botswana Cycling Association benefits from the scholarship, they have two junior cyclists who have benefited from the scholarship based in USA and Switzerland respectively.
An optimistic Ditlogolo expressed hope that the award of the scholarship will go a long way towards changing the perspective other young people with regards to playing sport and in particular cycling.
In giving advice to aspiring athletes, Ditlogolo emphasized the need to participate in sports especially the youth. He said “Young boys and girls must join teams at an early age so that they can be groomed and represent the country at international events. Teams must also take the development route to grow the sport.”
The Elite Scholarship Fund was established to assist excelling athletes to get government scholarship for further studies provided they meet the established criteria set by the government. It aims at recognising excelling athletes from different sporting codes and placing them in enabling environment for further growth at an educational institution of their choice.
The fund is allocated not less than P1 million every year and is limited to not more than four outstanding athletes every year.