Three top athletes – Ofentse Bakwadi, Baboloki Thebe and Phemelo Khetho – will slug it out for the high status Sports man of year award in the 39th edition of the annual Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) sports awards.
These athletes are from three of the best performing sporting codes in Botswana when it comes to continental and global competitions. The awards are scheduled for June 8, 2019 at Baisago Convention Centre in Gaborone.
All eyes will be on the Sportsman of the year accolade which pits together the most celebrated athletes who have also achieved a lot during 2018. Bakwadi, the karate maestro, won silver medal at the 2018 UFAK Senior Championships in Rwanda in individual kata as well as well as gold during the Region 5 karate championships which were staged in Gaborone. He clinched gold at the national championships and a bronze at the Commonwealth Championships in Durban, South Africa.
Thebe, for his part, won a gold medal during African Athletics Championship in Nigeria last year – a performance which meant he managed to defend the title he won two years back in South Africa. He also scooped gold at the Commonwealth Games as part of the 4x400m relay team and a silver medal individually in the 400m. Thebe went on to win double silver in 400m and 4x400m relay at the IAAF Intercontinental Championships.
Khetho’s achievements include silver medal from the Zone 4.3 Chess Championships in Mozambique last year as well as a second place finish during the Metropolitan National Chess Championship .He also formed part of the Botswana team which competed at the World Chess Olympiad in Georgia.
The sports woman of the year award is contested by Thabang Maleke of karate, Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe of volleyball and Christine Botlogetswe of athletics. However, Botlogetswe seems to be in pole position to sweep to victory as most of her achievements were at international level, having won two silver medals at the IAAF Intercontinental Championships last year and finishing 4th in 400m finals during the Commonwealth games.
The other award to look out for is the Sportsperson of the Year award which is announced on the night of the awards and has no nominations since it seeks to honour the athlete or administrator who performed more than anyone.
Junior female sportsperson of year: Entle Maungwa (Karate), Besa Masaiti (Chess), Oarabile Tshosa (Athletics),
Junior Male Sportsperson of the year: James Freeman (Swimming), Bernard Olesitse (Athletics), Denzel Seetso (Tennis)
National Team of the year: 4X400M men’s relay team, Chess national youth team, Police VI Volleyball Club.
Sports Administrator of the year: Tshepo Bathai (Karate), Duncan Segabo (BOTESSA), Motlhokomedi Tlhabano (Chess)
National Sport Association of the year: Botswana Chess Federation, Botswana Cricket Association, Botswana Karate Association
Coach of the year: Mogomotsi Otsetswe (Athletics), Peter Molefhe (Karate)
Umpire of the year: Gaone Poane (Tennis), Emmanuel Kgaboetsile (Badminton), and Mpho Bakwadi (Karate)
Non-Citzen Sports award: Sean Irish (Rugby), Sumod Damodor (Cricket)
Sportsperson with disability (Female): Gorata Malehaneng, Ontametse Sebokolodi
Sportsperson with disability (Male): Edwin Masuge, Bose Mokgwathi.