Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Who will walk away with Sports Person of the Year award?

The most interesting one that always raises all the attention is that of Sports Person of the Year award.
So far, the front runner is Amantle Montsho who reached last year’s Olympic finals in Beijing, China. She was the first female athlete to do so from Botswana.

Montsho also made history just before the Olympics when she won 400 by 400m gold at the Africa championships and even set a new World record of the year. Currently based in Senegal at the high performance centre, she is likely to keep on dominating continental championships and even making a huge impact in some of the world championships.

She first participated at the 2004 Olympics but failed to make an impact. By then her time did not meet the minimum requirements for qualifications, but was given a green light by the Olympic body, bearing in mind the potential she had.

Montsho faces a stiff competition from Khumiso Ikgopoleng. Ikgopoleng became the first local boxer to qualify for the quarter finals while previously local boxers bowed out in the preliminary stages.

Having been a step away from the medal table after an impressive display, Ikgopoleng might be a surprise package.
Just before the Olympics last year, Ikgopoleng won a bronze medal at the World Championships. He is also the first local boxer to represent Botswana for the second consecutive time at the Olympics.

Another contender is high jumper and reigning Sports Person of the Year, Kabelo Kgosiemang.
Although he had a bronze from last year’s African championships but failed to make an impact at the Olympics. He is also currently based in Senegal at the high performance centre.

Sportsman

In the Sportsman of the Year award, it will be between Ikgopoleng and Kgosiemang and the dark horse is Karateka’s Vicky Majama but Ikgopoleng stands out.

Sportswoman

Even in the sports woman category, Montsho looks as the obvious winner. Her fellow competitors are Tsholofelo Retshabile of Mafolofolo volleyball club and Nshingi Mosalagae of Karate.

Referee/Umpire

In this category Michael Moroka of boxing is the favourite compared to his fellow competitors, Edgar Serole of volleyball and Lucas Taolo Rakgampu of Karate. Moroka last year put Botswana on the world map when he officiated at the Olympic Games and gained accolades for that. Bearing in mind the intensity of the Games, he definitely deserves the award.

Coach of the Year

Once again, boxing seems to run away with the Coach of the Year award. Johannes Dithabang is pitted against Isaac Samule of volleyball and George Tshikare of Karate. All the success behind Ikgopoleng last year was because of Dithabang who was his coach.

Team of the Year

Team of the Year is a close one. The front runners are, however, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Kutlwano ladies team and Netball senior national team.
Centre Chiefs made history last season by sweeping all the boards. They also made history by going for many games without a loss. Kutlwano, on the other hand, did well at home by winning some trophies and even made their presence felt in the Zone VI championships. The netball team also raised Botswana’s flag further when they reached the latest stages of World championships.

Non citizen award

Non citizen award should definitely go to Cricket development officer, Girish Ramakrishna. He has mobilised many primary school students to more that three thousand despite starting merely a year and half ago. He is the reigning winner, but the gentleman from India seems to be determined and attracting more kids everyday. His programme has even reached far areas such as Maun. Other nominees are Dave Gilbert of Rugby and Gillian Dykes.

Other categories and nominees

Junior female

Wake Senai (karate), Tumisang Bagidi (Netball) and Golebaone Bosekeng of athletics.

Junior sportsman

Lentswe Swinila (boxing), Daniel Leagamang (athletics) and Seabe Ebineng of swimming.

Best executed Development Plan

Botswana Boxing Association, Botswana Softball Association and Botswana Bridge Federation.

Administrator of the year

Moses Bantsi, (Botswana Amateur Athletics Association), Tsoseletso Nkala (Botswana Volleyball Federation) and Ross Tebele of the Special Olympics.

Group code of the year

Bisa, Botessa, Boprissa

Code of the year

Botswana Amateur Athletics Association, Botswana Cricket Association, Botswana Volleyball Federation.

There will also be awards for Print Media House, Camera Person, Print Media journalist and Electronic Media House. There will also be chairperson’s award which is the prerogative of the chairperson of Botswana National Sports Council.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.