BNSC unveils awards nominees

SHARE   |   Thursday, 31 August 2017   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang

The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) this week unveiled nominees for the 37th Annual Sport Awards which will be held on the 16th September 2017. This year three sporting codes which are arguably among the best performing seem to be dominating the nominees. The good work and performance put in by chess, athletics and karate did not go unnoticed as athletes from the three will be battling it out for BNSC’s top honours of both the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year awards. The sporting codes also appear in almost all the other categories nominations. When unveiling the nominees, BNSC chairman Solly Reikeletseng said the awards will cover sporting performance from April 2016 to March 2017. Reikeletseng said this in anticipation of a likely uproar from the members of the public questioning some of the nominations. It is highly likely the public might mistakenly question the absence of Isaac Makwala whose performance did not go unnoticed internationally when he recently won the IAAF Diamond League. Reikeletseng said it is important for the public to understand that the performance that is awarded is for the previous year. “These awards will be covering sporting performance from April 2016 to March 2017. Any performance that happened after the said dates will be awarded in the coming BNSC awards,” said Reikeletseng. He said this needed to be clarified to let members of the public understand why the chosen current nominees were arrived at. Reikeletseng said the awards are meant to inspire all sport men and women to sustain good performance so that as a nation Botswana continues to exceed expectations. 

The Sportsman of the Year award 

This award will see athletes from Athletics, Chess and Karate vying for the honour. Athletics’ Nijel Amos, Thuso Mosutha of Chess and Ofentse Bakwadi of Karate have been nominated to battle for this award. It remains to be seen who will walk away with this prestigious award though. Amos found his spot in the nomination after attaining 800m gold medal at the 2016 Africa Senior Championships. He also represented the country at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and is the World Junior record holder in 800m. Bakwadi, who had a good year, won two gold medals at the 2016 World Karate Champions in Australia. Another gold medal from the Zone VI Karate Championships also boasted BOKA national Champions to get a nomination. The other contender Mosutha who got a nod from the adjudication panel won a gold medal at the 2016 Swaziland International Open Chess Championships and also qualified for the 2016 World Chess Olympiad where he was awarded a Candidate Master title. 

Sportswoman of the Year award

The three codes will also have a fierce battle again for the Sportswoman of the Year award with Thato Malunga (Karate), Onkemetse Francis (Chess) and Christine Botlogetswe (Athletics) vying for it.  Malunga, who had a great year, is the national champion and was a gold medallist at the 2016 Zone VI Karate Championship. She also had other six gold medals from the 2016 national championships. Botlogetswe, on the other hand, represented the country in athletics at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She is also the national 400m champion and was fourth at the Africa Championships in Durban in 2016. The other contender Francis also has had a great year winning 90 percent of the international open tournaments in Botswana. She also led Botswana female senior team at the 2016 World Chess Olympiad. Francis is one of the four Women Fide Masters in the country.             

Other awards 

Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year 

• Besa Masaite – Chess

• Tshegofatso Tsiang – Tennis

• Galefele Moroko – Athletics  

Junior Male Sportsperson of the Year

• Gavin Mogopa – Judo 

• Thabang Setshego – Karate 

• Karabo Sibanda – athletics 

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Sports Administrator of the Year

• Dorothy Tlagale – Judo 

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• Tshenolo Maruatona – Chess  

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Non-Citizens Sports award 

• Estony pridge – Judo

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• Zilwele khumalo – Rugby

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National Team of the Year 

• Men karate team Kumite 

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• Men 4x400m relay team 

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Sport code of the Year 

• Botswana Cricket Association 

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• Botswana Chees Federation

• Botswana Athletics Association

Coach of the Year

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• Peter Molefhe – Karate 

• Mogomotsi Otsetswe – Athletics

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• Thebe Setlalekgosi – Boxing 

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   Umpire/Referee of the Year 

• Edgar Serole – Volleyball 

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• Joshua Bondo – Football

• Gaone Poane – Tennis 

Group code of the Year 

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• BOTESSA

• BOPSSA