Sunday, August 7, 2022

Montsho a front runner for top BNSC award

Botswana’s woman athlete sensation, Amantle Montsho, is once again favoured to win this year’s Sports Person of the Year award.

Montsho has won it for the past two years and this year it looks obvious, considering her achievement on the international scene last year.

The 27-year-old Maun-born Montsho made history last year by becoming the first Motswana to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

As if the Gold medal was not enough, Montsho went a step further by setting a new record for the Games.

With all these achievements under her belt, it does not appear as if anything will stop Montsho from gracing the podium and receiving the coveted prize. The Sports Person of the Year is selected from different categories and one who is seen to have achieved the most walks away with the prize.
Montsho won it twice before because she dominated the African championships where she gave many African athletes a torrid time.

She has been nominated in the Sportswoman of the Year category where she is expected to easily surpass Thato Malunga of Karate and Portia Rasekhumba of Netball.

Another interesting category is that of the Junior Male of the Year and Coach of the Year in which Township Rollers goalkeeper, Kabelo Dambe, Tirafalo Seoko of boxing and Pako Seribe of athletics are competing.

The Coach of the Year is being contested for by the foursome of national soccer team coach, Stanley Tshosane, Johannes Dithabang of boxing, Mpho Bakwadi of Karate and Isaac Samuel of Volleyball.
Dambe and Seoko are the front runners for Junior Male of the Year but the latter has strong chances.
Dambe has been in sterling form at his club and is the reigning Footballer of the Year.
But what catapults Seoko is that, last year, he won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in India after making his first appearance.

Tshosane stands a better chance because he made history with the national soccer team last year by achieving what nobody else has done in the history of Botswana soccer.

The Zebras climbed the FIFA ladder last year and achieved a record number 53. This has led to many European countries taking note of that and Botswana ended up playing a friendly match with Sweden.
Most European countries hardly play any country below position 70. Zebras are now on the verge of making their maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Of the five matches the Zebras played for qualifications, they have not lost a single match against some of the strongest teams on the continent, teams like Tunisia and Togo.

To date Botswana needs only a victory to qualify.

Dithabang, however, cannot be ruled out because he was the coach of the boxing team that won two bronze medals at the past Commonwealth Games.

In the past, the Boxing team won a single medal and bringing two medals last year was a great achievement.

Most local boxers bowed out in the quarter finals at the Commonwealth Games which is another big achievement for the team.

The Karate team normally brings a lot of medals from international competitions and Bakwadi is the man who has always been behind it. Samuel, who coaches Kutlwano, has also put Botswana volleyball on the international map because he has made Kutlwano team a force to reckon with locally.
Samuel has also transformed Kutlwano into a team that is untouchable in the Southern African region.

Administrator of the Year category is a tough one where there is Tshepo Sitale (Chess), Tebogo Lebotse (Netball), Moses Bantsi (Athletics), Gift Nkwe (Karate) and Steven Botlhasetse of BISA.
Nkwe and Bantsi have done well for their respective areas and the major achievements in international competitions from their codes are a testimony to that.

Under Lebotse’s leadership, Netball managed to net satisfactory sponsorship from Spar Group and the national netball team is doing well in international competitions.

There are also many chess tournaments compared to previous years.

Other categories include Junior Female of the Year that is being contested by Kgalalelo Botlhole (Chess), Leungo Matlhaku (Chess) and Tsholofelo Maduma of Karate.

Team of the Year is being contested by Karate National team, the athletics’ four by four relay team and the senior national football team.

Group Code of the Year is being contested by Special Olympics, BISA, and BOTTESSA.
Botswana Volleyball Federation, Botswana Athletics Association and Botswana Chess Federation compete for Sports Code of the Year.

Non citizen award will once again pit two former winners, Dele Akpata of Botessa, Girish Ramakrishna and Estony Hattingh both of cricket and Judo, respectively.

There are also categories for Umpire of the Year and even Best Executed Development Plan.

There will also be Chairperson’s Award and media awards that will be announced at the ceremony.
The awards will be held on April 9 at Ditshupo Hall.


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