On the 7th of October 2017, the 37th annual National Sports Commission Awards took place in Botswana. It was a very successful event for the chess community as chess was nominated for 5 awards and got three of them. This came as no surprise to Botswana Sport lovers since chess has been nominated in the top three for all the past 4 years, and always coming 2nd to cricket.
It started with the former president, Tshepo Sitale being elected as the Senior Vice President of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) in a highly contested election. Sitale is one of the pioneer administrators of chess who propelled the Federation to recognition, his election this past weekend as BNOC Senior Vice President was a crowning moment of hard work and meticulous organisation.
Chess won awards for
1) Sports Code of the year
2) Administrator of the year - former President Mr. Tshenolo Maruatona
3) Junior Female Athlete of the Year - Ms. Onkementse Francis
According to organisers, chess looks set to dominate other sports codes because of the level of seriousness and organisation they put into their work at the Botswana Chess Federation.
To cap the glorious chess year, Onkemetse Francis scooped the Sports Woman of the Year award which was sponsored by Debswana for the first time this year to the tune of P40 000. Debswana has taken a deliberate decision to support women within and outside of the organisation in areas such as sports, entrepreneurship and academics.
Former Public Relations Director of Botswana Chess Federation Ms. Keenese Katisenge also won the award in 2014.
Sports woman of the year award winner in Naivy blue dress WIM Dr Onkemetse Francis
Botswana Chess Federation Executive committee after winning Sport Code of the year Award
Administrator of the year Mr Tshenolo Maruatona, former BCF president
Calistus Kolantsho print media journalist of the year Award winner, the man is always at the helm of growing chess in print media.
Tshepo Sitale was voted as Senior Vice President of Botswana National Olympic Committee