SHARE   |   Tuesday, 12 April 2016   |   By Staff Writer
Marape Marape

Nine-year-old pupil – Woman Candidate Master (WCM) – Naledi Marape, is set to make history when she becomes the youngest ever athlete to win a sports award at the BNSC Awards scheduled for June. At just 9, she is one of the nominees for the 36th BNSC Awards under the category of Junior Female Sports Person of the Year, alongside • Galefele Moloko - Athletics and • Naomi Ruele - Swimming. BCF spokesperson Keenese Neoyame Katisenge said: "Whoever wins on the day nnana, we will remain proud of you. You have made us proud".

Marape achieved a lot in 2015. In fact she is used to breaking records. In a previous interview Katisenge revealed that Marape was the first Motswana to be rated at the age of eight in 2015. In the FIDE ratings released at the end of March 2015 the young Marape attained a rating of 1245 and ranked number 10 as per all active female players in Botswana. She is further ranked number 255 active female player in Africa and number 2097 in all active (male and female) player in Africa. “This is a great achievement; it shows that our programmes are beginning to work according to plan,” Katisenge said, adding that having a FIDE rating keeps players motivated knowing that their efforts are recognised in the international arena.

In 2014 Marape, a Baobab Primary school pupil, she also did very well in chess locally and internationally. Her good performance earned her a spot in the junior national team were she represented the country at different competitions. She qualified and represented Botswana at the 2014 World Youth Chess Championships and was voted best performer in the team. She also represented Botswana at the 2014 African Youth Chess Championships in Tunisia. 

Locally Marape is the reigning champion of the 2014 Botswana National Youth Chess Championship under 8 Girls, the 2014 Botswana Junior Closed under 8 Girls and the 2015 Airfficiency year opener under 10 girls. The young girl is coached by her father Dr Marape Marape and has been playing chess since the age of five. Even though she at times takes part in self-sponsored FIDE tournaments, she has gone through BCF development programmes.