Nine local athletes have, through the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), attained the Tokyo 2020 Olympic scholarships. Addressing media recently the Chief executive officer of BNOC Tuelo Serufho, indicated that athletes from various sporting codes such as swimming, boxing, athletics, karate and cycling have pledged to Olympic solidarity to be considered for this prestigious scholarship.
Giving details regarding the scholarship deal, Serufho stated that the scholars will benefit tremendously from this initiative, he mentioned; coaching fees, monthly living allowance, accommodation and assistance in travelling costs for athletes, among many benefits.
He however highlighted that although a number of athletes showed interest and actually applied for the scholarship, only a few were selected. “The selection which was used by IOC was purely based on the athletes’ performances in the past Olympic games as well as their potential to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games ” said Serufho.
The growth of female participation is noticeable in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic scholarship to a total number of four and also for the very first time cycling is part of the sporting codes that will benefit from this scholarship.
The nine athletes who managed to attain scholarship are ; Matshidiso Ebodilwe of Cycling, athletics is represented by; Baboloki Thebe, Isaac Makwala, Onkabetse Nkobolo, Lydia Jele, Christine Botlogetswe, Nijel Amos and Karabo Sibanda while swimming’s sole representative is Naomi Ruele.
In other news, Serufho briefed media regarding preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. He stated that the preparations are at an advanced stage as they have confirmed a total of 27 athletes whom will form part of team Botswana from four sporting codes, namely; swimming, athletics, boxing and weightlifting.
“We currently have athletes who are on camp at various places and will be closely monitored until the final camp in March where we will be preparing to take off right before the commonwealth games” he added.