Monday, December 6, 2021

Masisi hails local athletes

Local athletes have been acknowledged for sterling performances during the recent competitions.

President Mokgwetsi Masisi, during State of the Nation Address (SONA) paid homage to the achievement that the athletes got from international meets.

In his address, the president also name picked Amantle Montsho who recently retired from track and hailed her as a star. “To Amantle Montsho who has retired from the world of athletics, thank you for serving Botswana well. You are a source of inspiration to many,” the President observed. President Masisi wished Amantle all the best in her future endeavours. 

The first citizen also acknowledged athletes who performed exceptionally well at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in July 2021. “I want to particularly, recognise our Team Botswana 4 by 4 Men’s Relay Team for bringing a bronze medal to Botswana. In the same breath, let me recognise our athletes who made a strong show at the World Under 20 Athletics Championships in August this year. You have made our country proud and we salute you,” Masisi said.

He also highlighted that government continues to invest in sport to commercialise it. For the last three years government has spent in excess of Forty Million Three Hundred Thousand Pula (P40, 300 000. 00). The money was used in preparing athletes to participate at the Tokyo Olympics and Under 20 Championships competitions.

“Government rewarded the 4 by 4 Relay Team with housing units at a cost of Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pula (P450, 000) each, translating to a total of Two Million Seven Hundred Thousand Pula (P2.7 million) for winning a bronze medal,” he told the nation in his address.

The nation was also applauded and recognised for the support given to the teams. Masisi urged the private sector to meaningfully support government’s efforts in the development and commercialisation of sport in Botswana.

Masisi also observed that the Under 20 team’s performance at the World Athletics Under 20 Games was exceptional. The team brought home three gold medals and one silver medal. Botswana was ranked 7th overall at the Championships, a remarkable achievement according to Masisi.

On improving sport infrastructure across the country, he highlighted that the community sport facilities project commenced in the 2018/19 financial year for the construction of ten (10) mini stadia. Of the 10 facilities under development, Bobonong and Moshupa facilities are expected to be handed over by the end of this financial year. The rest of the facilities are at different stages of construction.

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